PROBE Revisited is a field-based study of the schooling situation in rural India, conducted exactly 10 years after the PROBE survey was conducted. The research is being conducted in largely the same villages as in the PROBE sample, randomly-selected in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The present study goes beyond PROBE by extending the focus from primary to elementary education and by supplementing the main survey with smaller qualitative studies in six of the surveyed villages as well as in a few southern states.The qualitative studies in northern India explore school–community linkages as well as the experience of children in the classroom and the school in general. Qualitative studies in the south of India look at innovative initiatives in education.
Despite a quantum leap in the number of children able to access schooling in the last 10 years, the situation continues to be dismal. REFA focuses on the right of every child to receive at least eight years of schooling and the extent to which this right is being realized.
The project is a collaborative venture between Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), New Delhi and CORD, and is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.The core of the research is a large cross-sectional survey. The methodology includes:
- A survey of all educational facilities at the pre-primary, primary and upper primary levels
- Interviews with key teachers and the principal/in-charge.
- Interviews with parents and children of various schooling categories – those currently enrolled in an educational facility, those who have never been enrolled, and those who have dropped out.
The large-scale quantitative survey has been enriched with the help of case studies on specific issues of concern, which have been explored using qualitative research methods.