The Right to Education Act 2009 has mandated teacher-student ratios and teacher qualifications and also given some indications of what is a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Given the context of much-needed pressure to improve the quality of our schools and ensure our children learn, NUEPA, in partnership with the World Bank, initiated a study to understand the working conditions of elementary and secondary school teachers in nine states of India namely Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The study focuses on teacher management in government schools and includes all categories of teachers: regular, contract and part-time teachers. The study seeks to understand whether the government is able to recruit and deploy teachers where necessary, whether practices are informed by policies and if the process of teacher recruitment and management is transparent.
Vimala Ramachandran, has been working on elementary education, girls’ education and women’s empowerment. She conceptualised and launched Mahila Samakhya (1988-89), a women’s education programme of Government of India programme based in the Department of Education, MHRD. She was the Managing Trustee of HealthWatch – a network of researchers and activists engaged with women’s health – from 1994 to 2004. She established Educational Resource Unit in 1998 as a network of researchers and practitioners working on education and empowerment. She has published extensively on education policy and practice, gender issues and women’s empowerment. Vimala did her MA (1976) and M Phil (1979) in Political Science in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and was a Rotary International scholar (1983-84) at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.