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As India extends preschool education to all, incorporate gender sensitivity from the start


July 3, 2019
Samyukta Subramanian
The Brookings Insitution

n the midst of finalizing its new education policy—27 years after the last National Education Policy took shape—India is one of the few countries in the world to extend the right to free and compulsory education for 3- to 6-year-old children. Policymakers will have the opportunity to remodel the education system and change the beliefs of young girls and boys for generations to come.

The Annual Status of Education Report 2018 national findings suggest that 7 percent more girls compared to boys aged 7 to 14 are enrolled in public education systems across India. And with the right to education being extended to the early years, we can now expect many more girls to be in the education system from the start. This begs the question, though, as to whether schools are prepared for more girls to enter.