The Internet as well as the media has been abuzz with various reactions coming from different lobbies since the transition of Ms. Smriti Irani from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Textiles.
And when it comes to the work done towards improvement of school education in the past two years, we present you with a glimpse of major achievements and initiatives of the DEPARTMENT OF SCHOOL EDUCATION & LITERACY under her leadership:
SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN:
1. Child tracking system for more than 200 million children across India was announced in April'16 which plans to track SSA daily online.
2. National Assessment Survey, which was done once in 3 years will now be conducted every year.
3. Plans to set up KVs in all Lok Sabha constituencies and 62 Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide quality education.
4. A sub-programme of SSA, Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat was launched with special focus on improving language development and to create interest in mathematics. An amount of Rs. 456 crore was allocated for this sub-programme in the year 2014-15 and a provision of Rs. 525.00 crore was made for 2015-16.
SWACHCH VIDYALAYA SCHEME :
1. Under this programme, 100% target of completion of construction of separate toilets for both girls and boys in government schools was successfully achieved.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: 1. With the active support by SSA, over 25 lakh children with special needs have been enrolled in elementary education. In order to equip teachers to facilitate classroom teaching of children with special needs, material on curricular adaptations for inclusive classrooms has been developed by NCERT.
2. Saksham Scholarships of Rs.5 crore p.a were instituted for specially abled children.
RASHTRIYA MADHYAMIK SHIKSHA ABHIYAN:
1. The RMSA guidelines provide for augmenting secondary school infrastructure through construction of additional class rooms,laboratories, toilet blocks, drinking water, libraries etc.
2. The RMSA Scheme has been revised to subsume the schemes of ICT @schools,Vocationalisation of Secondary Education, Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage, and Girls' Hostels.
1. MHRD and USAID have formulated the In-STEP programme (India Support to Teacher Education Program) under which 110 teacher educators from the Eastern and North Eastern part of the country have undergone a three month fellowship at Arizona State University with the clear purpose of understanding issues related to teacher education. In addition, TESS-India with collaboration between Department for International Development (DFID) and Ministry of HRD with UK’s Open University as the implementing agency has been instituted.
GIRLS' EDUCATION :
1. Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls’ Education in India was launched that will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups.
2. Udaan Scheme is dedicated to the development of girl child education, so as to enhance the enrolment of girl students in prestigious technical education institutions through incentives & academic support.
3. "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" programme has ushered in to encourage education among girl children. The programme is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
1. The CBSE Board has launched an on-line facility titled ‘Saransh’ which is an online self-review tool for schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that allows schools to identify areas of improvement in students, teachers & curriculum and take necessary measures to implement changes.
2. Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan was launched which is directed towards creating interest among school going students from classes I to XII in sciences. Model labs would be created all over the country for this purpose.
3. The first phase of “Shaala Darpan Project” to cover all the 1099 Kendriya Vidyalayas was launched which will be made available as a mobile app that will keep the parents informed of their ward’s progress in schools.
4. Shaala siddhi is a step towards comprehensive school evaluation This will enable the school to evaluate its performance against the well-defined criteria in a focused
and strategic manner.
5. E-pathshala was set up as a part of the Digital India Campaign, which is a single point repository of e-resources containing, NCERT text-books and various other learning resources.
MID DAY MEAL REVITALISATION:
1. The IVR (Interactive Voice Response System) to monitor the daily implementation of Mid Day Meal scheme was showcased. There are two recent interventions viz Tithi Bhojan and Social Audit designed to attract community participation and channelize it for enrichment of the scheme.
2. The Central Government notified ‘Mid Day Meal Rules, 2015’ which inter alia provide for temporary utilization of other funds available with the school for MDM; Food Security Allowance to be paid to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of meals for specified reasons; and monthly testing of meals on a random basis by accredited Labs to check its quality.
1. A unique initiative 'Kala Utsav' was launched with the theme of `Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. It provides an opportunity to learn about the art, culture and language of various States and UTs of the country at one place.
2. Curriculum for yoga from classes vi to x was released on the occasion of International Yoga Day in June 2015.
Though the bottomline remains that the state of School Education in India is still dire. There is currently a shortage of 9.5 lakh primary teachers. Programmes have been announced but most of those await implementation.
India spends roughly only four per cent of her GDP on education. In 2015-16, MHRD budget has been slashed by 6.3 per cent from its 2014-15 allocation and the 2016-17 budget estimate (Rs 92,666 crore), though higher than last year, is still less than the 2014 figure.
However, things can no longer be allowed to carry on like this. Ms. Irani had been decent on Mission and we sincerely hope that the Vision improves under her successor, Mr. Javedekar so that school as well as higher education improves further.
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