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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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