EDUCATION FOR ALL – A SOCIOLOGICAL PERCEPTIVE by Anand[1] and S.Vedapurieswaran[2]


According to Plato, education refers to the training given to socially accepted habits, virtues and instincts of children. Education is the process of giving the individual, knowledge and skills which he should apply in his life (Missie: 1999). Development of person is determined by his education. Thus, development and education have common grounds in the process of making human existence worthy and meaningful. The present study focuses on a sociological perspective of Education For All.

Keywords: Education, Primary education, Education for All.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

The aim of education is always two fold, there is a collective aspect and there is an individual aspect. Form the collectivity point of view, Education is expected to turn the individual into a good citizen, i.e, in to a person who has harmonious relations with the others member of the community a who is useful to society and who fulfils with zeal his obligation as a citizen. On the other hand, it may be expected will give to the individual strong and healthy body, help him in building up his character and attaining self-mastery and him with good opportunities   of discovering and developing harmoniously his natural abilities.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (EFA) (“Education for All” movement, sometimes referred to as “each one teach one”) is a flagship programme of the Government of India for achievement of universalization of elementary education in a time bound manner, an mandated by the 86th Amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children of ages 6-14 years a fundamental right. The scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (EFA) evolved from the recommendations of the State Education Minister’s conference held in October 1998 to pursue Universal Elementary Education in a mission mode. The Government of India launched it towards the end of the 9th plan in 2001. The programme aims to achieve the goal of   universalization of elementary education of satisfactory quality by 2010. EFA is a time bound integrated approach of the central government in partnership with the states, the Local Government and the Community.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is an effort to universalize elementary education by community – ownership of the school system. It is a response to the demand for quality basic education all over the country. The EFA programme is also an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities in all children through provision of community owned quality education in a mission mode. An effort at effectively involving the Panchayati Raj Institutions, School Management Committees, Village and Urban Slum Level Education Committees, Parent’s Teacher’s Associations , Tribal Autonomous Councils and Other Grass Root Level Structures in the management of elementary schools.

Primary Education

The primary education constitutes a very important part of the entire structure f education. It is at this stage that the child starts going to formal institution. Primary education plays an important role in laying the proper foundation of child1s physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and social development. A sound primary education gives rise to sound secondary and higher education. Primary education deserves the highest priority not only on grounds of social justice and democracy but also for raising the competence of the worker and for increasing national productivity. It also represents and indispensable first step towards the provision of equality of opportunity to all its citizens. It is through primary education social and moral awareness and character building take place in children.

Objectives of Primary Education

The following are the main objectives of the primary education, with special reference to present day Indian context.

  • To prepare good citizens for our great Democracy
  • To develop a strong sense of patriotism in youthful minds
  • To develop in children mastery over the basic tool of learning
  • To develop proper personal, social and moral qualities.
  • To develop aesthetic and artistic values
  • To develop neceEFAry skills that would enable them to lead an economically independent life later.
  • To develop an all-round, harmonious and well-integrated personality in them so that they would participate effectively in the community life and national re-construction and progress.

Education For All   (EFA)

The Phrase “SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN” is the Hindi name meaning in English is Education for All – It is People Movement.

In order to rectify the above mentioned defects in the primary school system, the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resources Development of Government of India brought out a draft for suggestions of States Union Territories in December 2000. It was named Framework for Implementation.  The EFA programme was implemented in some of the primary schools in Tamil Nadu with effect from the academic year/ 2002-2003. In order to achieve universal elementary education, the Government of Tamil Nadu, in co-ordination with the Government of India and voluntary organization came forward to implement the programme.

Objectives of EFA

Objective for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (EFA), started in 2001.The main objectives are;

  • To provide education to children between 6–14 years by 2010.
  • The programme focuses specially on girls and children with challenged social or financial backgrounds.
  • The EFA also aims to provide practical infrastructure and relevant source material in form of free textbooks to children in remote areas.
  • The EFA also aims at widening computer education in rural areas.

Features of Education for All

Education for All is an effort to universalize elementary education by community-ownership of the school system. It is a response to the demand for quality basic education all over the country. The EFA programme is also an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children, through provision of community-owned quality education in a mission mode.

  • A programme with a clear time for universal elementary education
  • A response to the demand for quality basic education all over the county
  • An opportunity for promoting social justice through basic education.
  • An effort at effectively involving the Panchayat Raj Institutions. School Management Committees, Village and Urban Slum level Education Committees, Tribal Autonomous Councils and other grassroot level structures in the management of elementary schools.
  • An expression of political will for universal elementary education across the country.
  • A partnership between the Central, State and the Local government
  • An opportunity for states to develop their own vision of elementary education.

Right to Education Act

Article 21 of the Constitution of India discusses the right to life which has been interpreted broadly, encompassing the right to free, secure and enabling conditions for a dignified human life. The Constitution (Eighty-Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Rights in such a manner as the State may, by law determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in  a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governemnts to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provision of the RTE Act.

Education and Socialization

Man becomes a human being only as a member of society.  By nature he cannot live alone or in isolation.  He is compelled by his biological and social necessities to live in a group or a society.  Each of us is largely social product. Socialization is the process through which we learn to live in a society and learn the values of the society and the ways of thinking, doing and living that are deemed to be desirable.

The Sociological Perspective on Education

The sociological perspective on education focuses on both, the process of education and the interrelationship between education and different aspects of society. The chief concern is with understanding how education influences social processes and gets influenced by them. The seeds of sociology of education were laid in the writings of Plato and others (about some of whom we have read in earlier sections) who focused on the role of education in laying the foundation of social order and supporting the state. Sociology of education was, however, carved as a specialized domain of enquiry much later. Emile Durkheim, the French Sociologist, stresses the need for a sociological approach to the study of education.

The sociological perspective on education establishes the importance of social and cultural context of education. While Durkheim focuses on the role of education in the preservation of society and culture (which happens though the transmission of values, knowledge, beliefs and skills of culture through the family, kinship group and school), Dewey distinguishes between the growth of the individual in accordance with the goals of a specific society and the natural growth of an individual. We need to understand that the goals, values and skills identified as critical by the social order are transmitted through the process of education. Now, these undergo change as social order itself transforms. It is for this reason that education is spoken of as a dynamic process.


Sarmat et al (1991) made an independent study on identification of the problems of primary education. This study identified the problems of primary education from a sample of 30 schools in Jarhat District. According to them, 64% of the teachers and headmasters considered pupils irregular attendance as a major problem. Suggesting there by that though children enrolled, they were not able to attend school regularly, obviously this resulted in stagnation due to poor achievement. The same team of investigators, through their study on the upper primary classes, underscored that only 54% of the pupils were regular in their attendance.

Hasan (1992) made an independent study on textbooks for primary grade children. Surveyed the scenario in four districts of Bihar. It concluded that in respect of enrolment ad attendance, Ranchi District occupied the first position with 60%. However, in the other three districts, namely, west

Mishara (1992) conducted a study on the development of girl`s education at the primary stage in OriEFA. Since independence to 1977 reported through his study of girl`s education in OriEFA from 1947 to 1977 that Cuttak district registered the highest enrolment (2, 17,000) whereas the Phulbani district the lowest, ie. Only 30,000.

Rate (1992) made an analytical study of the primary educatin in Mizoram during the post independence period. It reported that the participation rate in primary education gradually increased from a low of 50% in 1948 to 93% in 1979. However, the percentage of wstage of girls (36.8%) was slightly higher than that of boys (31.3%).

Ira Joshi, (2009) “Quality Education For All – The New National Agenda”  The revamped Sarva shiksha Abhiyan (EFA) must deliver in a tighter timeframe. If India is to emerge as a developed nation and harness its human resource so as to reach its full potential, genuine thought has to be given at all levels national, state, district, sub-district and down to individual level.


  1. To assess the Socio economic condition of primary school teachers
  2. To examine the Knowledge about Education for All.


The present study is descriptive research design in nature, because the characteristics, which are essential for the same like observation, recording, analysis and interpretation of the socio-economic conditions and awareness about EFA programme of primary school teacher at the present juncture, have been covered.

Sample of the Study:

The researcher collected the data from 29 primary Teacher, Marungaburi block in Trichy District, Tamil Nadu.

Tools Used:

The primary data collected from the respondents were statistically processed and tabulated leading to analysis. In this process simple statistical techniques like averages and percentage were used.


Table 1. Gender and Education

Sl.No. Gender Education  


Diploma in Teacher Education B.A, B.Ed., M.A, B.Ed.,
1. Male 1(16.7) 5(83.3) 0 6(100.0)
2. Female 3(13.0) 15(65.0) 5(21.7) 23(100.0)
              Total 4 20 5 29

Normally teaching profession does not have reviled educational qualification. In this study, we can understand that out of the 6 male primary school teacher, majority half (83.3) have Under graduate with B.Ed.,. Significant proportions (16.7%) are Diploma in Teacher Education. In case of Female primary school teacher, out of 23 there (65 %) have under graduate with B.Ed., and only (13 %) are Diploma in Teacher Education.

Table 2. Education and Type of Family

Sl.No. Type of Family Education Total
Diploma in Teacher Education B.A, B.Ed., M.A, B.Ed.,
1. Joint Family 0 10 (100.00) 0 10 (100.00)
2. Nuclear Family 4 (21.0) 10 (52.6) 5(26.3) 19 (100.00)
              Total 4 20 5 29

The above table shows relationship between education and type of family and it  indicates primary that teacher classified into two groups on the basis of type of family. Under graduate with B.Ed., degree holder all respondent replied living together with family members. Half of the portions of the respondent 52.6 % belong to nuclear family type.

Knowledge of Education for all Programmes:

The present study wants to know whether Primary school Teacher aware of their truth on the origin of the EFA, funding source of EFA, name the governing body EFA and try to find out whether EFA increased the enrolment of students.

All of them gave the right answer in origin of the EFA in 2001, Funding source of EFA is UNO, UNICEF, WORLD BANK, UNESCO and UNDP, name the governing body EFA exactly gave thought answer that is Central Government and State Government and try to find out whether EFA increased the enrolment of students, teacher are replied the enrolment rate gradually increased and drop rate of degrease through EFA programme.


The present study gather socio condition of the of the primary school teacher through interview schedule.  Form the study age is an important factor which is taken into consideration for determining whether one is young, middle or old. It was relationship with the efficiency either mentally or biologically. The entire respondents are placed into two groups namely 35-45 years and 46-55 years. It was found 59% of the respondents are in the age group of 46-55 years. The study also analysis on the basis of gender, surprisingly 79 % of the respondents are Female. The majority religion of India is the major religious group in the study. Income wise analysis of the respondent does not bring high variation among themselves.


Education forms a very basic indicator for social equality and empowerment. The role of education improvement in the standards of living over the years and have enhanced life chances and longevity of student. The impact of spread of education has brought the transformation among the villages and their social relationships. School education is base for higher education and must be put into proper before we go farming policies for higher education and development. Increasing enrollment primary level education in the country is put into proper shape.  Achieving Education for All policies is the pillar of the development various programme in education. Right to Education and Education for All assuring every student right to quality education. Therefore through the study conclude primary school teacher are have more knowledge on government policies and programmes on education and its importance at primary level.


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[1] S.Anand, NCERT Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Sociology, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

[2] S. Vedapurieswaran, ICSSR Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Sociology, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

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