Profile - Shajimon Peter
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW 2308 Australia
Fax: + 61 2 492 17818
Shajimon is a PhD candidate supervised by Professor Stephen Webb and Professor Terry Lovat
A critical examination of values education perspectives on non-formal education in India.
This study investigates the integration of values education into the non-formal education of children in India. Non-formal education is a planned and organised programme which provides education to poor, marginalised children who are either non-starters or out of school for various reasons. Several million such children have received education at non-formal education centres in various parts of India. This study examines the significance of non-formal education in the lives of these children, and the pedagogical imperative of integrating values education into non-formal education. This qualitative study uses semi-structured individual interviews with members of the leadership teams of both governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in the running of non-formal education centres and semi-structured focus group interviews with children participating in non-formal education in the Bihar region of India. An interpretive approach is used to explicate the data. A thematic literature review discusses and clarifies critical concepts of the study and establishes sufficient grounds for discussion of major findings. Extensive field data are analysed to determine the current state of non-formal education, the quality of education in government schools, and the reason why a large number of poor, marginalised children remain out of school. Findings from this analysis provide significant evidence of the need to continue to offer non-formal education. Further analysis of field data looks at the moral perspectives underpinning non-formal education and at various perspectives on integrating values education in non-formal education. Critical findings from this analysis suggest the urgent need for the planners and providers of non-formal education to step up their efforts in offering effective values education. This is due to the fact that appropriate and satisfactory integration and implementation of values education is not currently occurring, especially at a pedagogical level. The fact that specific research on the non-formal education of children in India is not common and that research regarding their values education is almost non-existent makes this study a significant and seminal contribution in the field of non-formal education.