In view of the high dropouts in the 6-14 age group, the government has introduced non-formal education for the benefit of working children, girls and those children who cannot attend full time schools owing to many socio- economic conditions. Since1979, the Government of India has been running the NFE scheme with the help of state governments and voluntary agencies.
There has been quantitative expansion of schools, students and teachers at this level.
Permanent buildings, additional teachers, more of science equipment, better laboratories and workshops and strengthening of the vocational stream are some of the immediate needs of the second level education. Tamil Nadu is a leading state in the implementation of vocational courses. And the government has more or less succeeded in increasing the enrolment of students in 16-18 age group by offering higher secondary education in schools instead of pre-university course in the colleges.
So far as technical education is concerned, self - financing colleges dominate the scene. More than 87 percent of the students study in self-financing colleges. Though this goes against the equity principle, the self-financing colleges grow in number. Only the non - poor manage to find places in these colleges. These colleges do not promote the goal of equal opportunities for all. Of late, self-financing colleges are trying to make inroads into professional education (eg. Medical colleges) also.
According to Weiner, 'the State has a very positive, very important role to play in the promotion of mass education, which cannot and should not be left to private sector alone'.