Implementation of SSA

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Implementation of SSA

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has been designated as the vehicle for implementing the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Since the inception of SSA in 2000-01 till 31.03.2017, 3.64 lakh new elementary schools, construction of 3.11 lakh school buildings and 18.73 lakh additional classrooms, 2.42 lakh drinking water facilities, 10.36 lakh school toilets and 19.46 lakh teacher posts have been sanctioned to States and UTs. Out of this, 3.59 lakh elementary schools have been opened, 2.93 lakh school buildings and 17.76 lakh additional classrooms have been constructed, 2.32 lakh drinking water facilities have been provided, 9.83 lakh school toilets have been constructed and 15.75 lakh teachers have been recruited as on 31st March, 2017.

The implementation of SSA is reviewed twice every year by a Joint Review Mission comprising independent experts and external funding agencies covering States. The Ministry of Human Resource Development convenes periodic meetings with State Education Ministers and Secretaries to review the programme implementation. Educational data on outcomes is collected through a Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) every year. The status of these evaluations and monitoring is placed in the public domain on the Ministry’s website. National Achievement Surveys (NAS) are conducted to check the health of the educational system and to provide information about the learning achievement of students.

The RTE Act, 2009 in its Schedule lays down pupil teacher ration (PTR) for both primary and upper primary schools. At primary level, the PTR should be 30:1 and at the upper primary level, it should be 35:1. As per UDISE 2015-16, the PTR at national level for elementary schools is 25:1.

The recruitment, service conditions and deployment of teachers are primarily in the domain of the State Governments and UT Administrations. The Central Government has been consistently pursuing the matter of expeditious recruitment and redeployment of teachers with the States and UTs at various fora. Advisories on this issue have also been issued to States and UTs from time to time.

As per an independent survey commissioned in 2014 by Ministry of Human Resource Development, 60.64 lakh children were estimated to be out of school in the age group of 6 to 13.

Universal enrolment is the first goal of SSA, and hence all efforts are being made to bring all children in schools. SSA has provided 2.06 lakh primary and 1.61 lakh upper primary schools for ensuring universal provisioning of schooling facilities. Preference for opening of school is given to tribal areas, and areas with high concentration of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and minority population. In addition, 3729 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, which are residential schools for girls at upper primary level, have also been sanctioned to the States for improving access to marginalised girls particularly out of school, either drop out or never enrolled.

Under SSA, provisions have also been made for residential schools/hostels and transportation/escort facility for children living in sparsely populated areas, children living in areas where schools cannot be opened due to unavailability of land and children in need of care and protection. Special training is also provided to all such children who are school dropouts and long absentees and they are enrolled in “back to school” camps.

Additionally, other strategies adopted under SSA such as strengthening school infrastructure, improving pupil-teacher ratios, providing incentives like free textbooks, uniforms for eligible category of children and mid-day meal in schools have proved to be useful in increasing the enrolment of children in elementary schools.

Funds under SSA

A total sum of Rs. 23,500 crore has been provided for SSA for the year 2017-18 at Budget Estimate stage against the Ministry’s estimated resource demand of Rs. 55,000 crore.

Under the SSA programme, budgetary support, as per the existing funds sharing pattern, is provided towards implementation of the different components of the Scheme including the payment of teachers’ salaries etc. Further, Section 7(1) of the RTE Act, 2009, States that both the Centre and the State shall have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of the Act. Section 7(3) states that the Central Government shall provide to the State Government, as grants-in-aid of revenues, such percentage of expenditure as it may determine, while, Section 7(5) states that the State Government shall, taking into consideration the sums provided by the Central Government to a State Government, be responsible to provide funds for the implementation of the provisions of the Act.

With the acceptance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission by the Government of India, the devolution of funds to the States has been increased from 32% to 42 % of the net Union Tax Receipts. With the enhanced devolution of funds, States may consider allocating more funds to SSA so as to carry out the functions and responsibilities conferred upon the States by Section 7(5) of the RTE Act, 2009.

It is, therefore, clear that the responsibility for meeting the fund requirement vests with both the Centre and the States.

Survey for Quality of Education in Government Schools

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducts periodic national surveys of learning achievement of children in classes III, V, VIII and X. Four rounds of National Achievement Survey (NAS) for class V, three rounds for classes III and VIII and one round for class X, have been conducted so far. These surveys reveal improvement in learning achievement levels of pupils, in identified subjects from first round to fourth round.

As per results of third round of National Achievement Survey (NAS) in class-III 73% children achieved above 50% in language and 76% children achieved more than 50% in Maths. In class-V 36% children achieved more than 50% in language and 37% children achieved more than 50% in Mathematics. In class VIII the achievement in Maths was low as only 14% children could achieve more than 50% marks. In science similar positions persisted as only 17 % children could answer more than 50% questions correctly. In class X the 16% children achieved more than 50% marks in maths and in science 22% children achieved more than 50% scores.

From current year onwards, Government has decided to conduct Survey of Learning Outcomes as National Achievement Survey with district as the sampling unit. The Survey will assess the competencies developed in the students studying in grades III, V and VIII in government and government aided schools.

In order to focus on quality of education, the Central Rules to the RTE Act, 2009 have been amended on 20th February, 2017 to include reference on class-wise and subject-wise Learning Outcomes. The Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary level have, accordingly, been finalized and shared with all States and UTs. These would serve as a guideline for States and UTs to ensure that all children acquire appropriate learning level. The students learning assessment will be according to the Learning Outcomes developed by NCERT.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.
Implementation of SSA Implementation of SSA Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:55 PM Rating: 5

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