- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuance of the amended Samagra Shiksha Scheme for another five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26, with a total budgetary outlay of Rs.2,94,283.04 crore, including Rs.1,85,398.32 crore from the Central government.
- The programme involves 1.16 million schools, 156 million pupils, and 5.7 million government and aided school teachers.
The Samagra Shiksha scheme:
- The Samagra Shiksha plan is a comprehensive school education programme that spans pre-kindergarten to class XII. The plan considers school education to be a continuous process and is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4).
- The scheme has been aligned with the recommendations of NEP 2020 to ensure that all children have access to quality education in an equitable and inclusive classroom environment that takes into account their diverse backgrounds, multilingual needs, and different academic abilities, and makes them active participants in the learning process.
The programme proposes the following main interventions at all levels of school education:
- Universal Access, including infrastructure development and retention;
- Foundational Literacy and Numeracy;
- Gender and Equit;
- Inclusive Education;
- Quality and Innovation; etc.
Based on the recommendations of the National Education Policy 2020, the revised Samagra Shiksha now includes the following new interventions:
- To improve the scheme’s direct outreach, all child-centric treatments will be delivered to pupils via DBT mode on an IT-based platform over time.
- The programme would have an effective convergence architecture with different Centre and State Government Ministries/Development Agencies. The growth of vocational education will be coordinated with financing provided by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and other Ministries. The existing infrastructure of schools, ITIs, and polytechnics will be utilised to guarantee that the facilities are used to their full potential, not just for school-aged children but also for children who are not in school.
- Master Trainers’ training for Anganwadi workers, as well as In-service teacher training for ECCE teachers.
- Provision of up to Rs 500 per child per year for Teaching Learning Materials (TLM), indigenous toys and games, and play-based activities in Government Schools’ pre-primary sections.
- NIPUN Bharat is a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy that aims to ensure that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by the end of grade III and no later than grade V. The scheme includes TLM of up to Rs 500 per child per year, Rs 150 per teacher for teacher manuals and resources, and Rs 10-20 lakh per district for teacher training and resources.
- NCERT has developed specific training modules for Secondary and Primary teachers under the NISHTHA programme.
- Improvements to school infrastructure from pre-primary to senior secondary; before, pre-primary was not included.
- All girls’ hostels have an incinerator and sanitary pad selling machines.
- In current senior secondary schools, new courses will be added instead of Stream.
- Transportation has been provided to secondary school students at a cost of up to Rs 6000 per year.
- Support would be offered to SC, ST, and handicapped out-of-school students aged 16 to 19 years to finish their secondary/senior secondary levels through NIOS/SOS, up to Rs 2000 per kid each grade.
- Support for PARAKH, a national evaluation centre’s operations (Performance, Assessments, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
- Schools can get an additional sports grant of up to Rs. 25000 if at least two students from their school win a medal in the Khelo India school games at the national level.
- Bag-free days, school complexes, internships with local craftsmen, curriculum and pedagogical changes, and other provisions are incorporated.
- BRCs and CRCs’ academic help has been extended to pre-primary and secondary school students as well.
- In addition to Government Schools, support under Vocational Education was extended to Government Aided Schools, with grant/number of employment roles/sections tied to enrolment and demand.
- Provision of Vocational Education classrooms and workshops at schools that serve as hubs for other schools in the neighbourhood. For schools functioning as spokes, transportation and evaluation costs have been provided.
- ICT laboratories, Smart classrooms with support for digital boards, smart classrooms, virtual classes, and DTH channels have all been made available.
Targets and Strategy for Implementation:
- At the national level, there is a Governing Council/Body headed by the Minister of Education and a Project Approval Board (PAB) headed by the Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy.
- The Governing Council/Body will be empowered to modify financial and administrative policies. Innovations and interventions to improve the quality of school education will be part of these changes.
- In order to enhance the direct outreach of the scheme, all child-centric interventions will be provided directly to the students through DBT mode on an IT-based platform over a period of time.
Major Consequences:The Scheme seeks to provide universal access to school education, promote fairness by including underprivileged groups and underserved areas, and improve educational quality at all levels of schooling. The Scheme’s main goals are to help states and UTs in the following areas:
- Implementing the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) recommendations;
- Implementing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009;
- Early Childhood Care and Education;
- Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy;
- Thrust on Holistic, Integrated, Inclusive, and Activity-Based Curriculum and Pedagogy to impart 21st-century skills to students. Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education;
- Strengthening and upgrading State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)/State Institutes of Education and District Institutes for Education and Training (DIET) as nodal agencies for teacher training;
- Ensuring a safe, secure, and conducive learning environment and maintaining standards in schools.