This paper traces the growth of elementary education in Odisha by using secondary data. It delineates the present status as well as growth of elementary education in Odisha and also addresses disparities in the educational attainment across castes and gender. It focuses on the gap in enrolment, dropouts, gender disparity, accessibility of schools and teachers and infrastructural provisioning. The findings show considerable, but uneven progress in the educational sector of the State. With improvement in enrolment ratios, dropout rates especially among girls and Scheduled Tribes, exhibit a marked decline during the last few years. Still there is a long way to fill the gap. The status of education in the pre and post RTE Act periods have been compared. The infrastructural facilities like provision of electricity, drinking water, toilets and separate toilets for girls etc. are inadequate and de-motivate the enrolled students, especially girl’s student to continue in the schools till the completion of elementary course. There is much to be desired to achieve universal education. Elementary education being a public good, the Government should come forward with determination and more funds to address the problems in the sector.
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