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School education

  • IASbaba
  • March 11, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Governance

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

School education

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development in its latest report on budgetary grants for school education and literacy for 2020-21, has made the following observations:

  • The allocation to the School Education and Literacy department has suffered a cut of 27.52%, amounting to Rs. 22,725 crore in the Budget Estimate for 2020-21, 
  • Access to Electricity: Only 56.45% of government schools had electricity (for 2017-18) 
  • In politically well-represented state of Uttar Pradesh, almost 70% of schools lacked electricity.
  • Playground: Only 56.98% of schools had a playground (for 2017-18)
  • Boundary Wall: Almost 40% of schools lacked a boundary wall (for 2017-18)
  • Disability Friendly: Neglect of toilet construction for children with special needs
  • Girl Toilets: Absence of toilets for girls in nearly one-third of secondary schools 
  • Inadequate laboratories for higher secondary science students

Government Steps in Education Sector

  • NDA government launched ‘100-day programme’ for education after coming to power for second term in 2019
  • The 100 day programme focused in part on training of schoolteachers and opening of central schools. 
  • Since Education is in Concurrent list Union government operates its own schemes and sponsors several school education programmes covering the States, notably Samagra Shiksha and the Mid Day Meal scheme.

Samagra Shiksha

  • It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12
  • It subsumes the three Schemes of 
    • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), 
    • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) 
    • Teacher Education (TE).
  • Objective: Improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
  • Major features of the scheme are
    • Holistic approach to education- Treat school education holistically as a continuum from Pre-school to Class 12
    • Administrative reform – Single and unified administrative structure leading to harmonized implementation.
    • Enhanced Funding for Education
    • Focus on Quality of Education – With emphasis on improvement of Learning Outcomes, capacity building of Teachers and utilizing technology. Outcome oriented allocation of resources
    • Focus on Digital Education – Support ‘Operation Digital Board’ in all secondary schools over a period of 5 years. Digital initiatives like Shala Kosh, Shagun, Shaala Saarthi to be strengthened. “DIKSHA”, digital portal for teachers to be used extensively for upgrading skills of teachers
    • Focus on Inclusion and reducing gender gap
    • Focus on Skill Development- Strengthening of vocational education at secondary level as an integral part of curriculum
    • Focus on Sports and Physical Education – Sports equipment will be provided to all schools under this component.
    • Focus on Regional Balance- Preference to Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), LWEs, Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Border areas and the 115 aspirational districts identified by Niti Aayog

Way Forward:

  • Effective implementation of Samgra Shiksha Abhiyan
  • Mission-mode approach to infrastructure ensuring that no school is left behind. 
  • Solar power can be installed in schools and toilets built for all students in 100 days. 
  • Community participation to ensure that the objectives are satisfactorily met
  • Incentivizing State governments (Finance Commission Grants) to enhance expenditure on Schooling

Conclusion

  • A public school system that guarantees universal access, good learning and all facilities has to be among the highest national priorities.

Connecting the dots

  • ASER Report
  • In India we have islands of Excellence in Higher Education System – Critically Analyse

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