PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE: ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
Skill Shortage : Increasing the supply of inputs such as teachers in India’s primary education system can ensure ‘schooling for all’ but not ‘learning for all’
Team Detail :
Vatsal shah & his group , INDUS University
INDIA'S ACHIEVEMENTS IN PROGRESS OF EDUCATION
•India is a vast country with over 1.2 billion people. Close to 200 million children study in primary and secondary schools. The majority of these children are in rural areas, spread over 600,000 villages. One can imagine the challenges faced in educating these children.
•Soon after independence in 1947, The Government of India and subsequently all State Governments took upon themselves the task of providing basic education to all children. It was a mammoth task, time consuming and capital intensive. Despite all these struggles and limitations, the country has achieved significant milestones. Today there is a school within 1 Km distance of most children and almost every child is in school (Enrolment rates have gone up to 93%-95% in most parts of the country).
•The government’s flagship program Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has done this miracle. In 10 years, SSA has achieved following:
•Out of School children number has been brought down significantly (8 million in 2009, 3 million in 2012).
•Big boost to additional schools -195,000 Primary and more than 100,000 Upper Primary schools sanctioned.
•1.8 million additional classrooms approved. 230,000 drinking water projects approved. 2 million additional teacher posts.
•Girls’ admission improved dramatically. Gender parity is achieved.
•The scheme supports 200 million children in 1.4 million schools in the country. Globally, 570 million children are enrolled in school. The number of children of primary school age who were out of school fell from 103 million in 1999 to 73 million in 2006. In that year, primary school enrolment in developing countries reached 88 per cent on average, up from 83 per cent in 2000.
• This is in contrary to sub-Saharan Africa where the net primary school enrolment ratio has only recently reached 71 per cent, even after a significant jump in enrolment that began in 2000. Around 38 million children of primary school age in this region are still out of school.
The problem with primary education in India is a familiar one: several states still lag far behind in meeting RTE norms in critical areas such as the number of primary schools built, the provision of drinking water and toilet facilities and the number of teachers, etc. According to the demand for grants 2012-13 of the department of school education and literacy, presented in the Rajya Sabha on May 3, while the percentage of completion of infrastructural facilities is high (between 90-96%), the progress made in getting the required number of teachers still lags behind, at 62.4%. Further, shockingly, the report finds that several states, including Delhi, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra saw a reducing number of teachers between 2009-10 and 2010-11. States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have the highest number of untrained teachers, although the number is high for several other states as well.
The report does find that enrolment in primary and upper primary schools has become more inclusive, with the proportion of girls and SC/STs having gone up between 2005-06 and 2009-10. But, alongside that, it finds that student performance is declining as they progress to higher classes. For example, while 61.89% of the students in class 3 passed in mathematics, only 42.71% passed the subject in class 8. This shows the quality of education remains a problem, perhaps due to the paucity of qualified teachers.
Shocking but true:
Problem faced by India
1. 31.4% of Std 3 children cannot read words in their own language.
2.70.1% of Std 3 children cannot solve a 2 digit subtraction problem
3.51.8% of Std 5 children cannot read a Std 2 level text
4.72.5 % of Std 5 children cannot do a simple division problem
•The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey is designed and coordinated by ASER Centre, facilitated by Pratham, and conducted by local organizations.
• The first ASER was conducted in 2005.Since then, ASER has been conducted in almost every rural district every year.
•ASER primarily focuses on the learning outcomes of children and is the only annual source of information for learning levels of children in elementary schools available in India. 2012 .
•It is the eighth ASER survey. ASER uses simple, low cost tools to assess impact at scale and to increase the understanding of ordinary citizens about the current status of elementary education.
What is ASER?
•Provides regular, reliable and relevant data on basic learning outcomes for over 700,000 children every year.
•Utilizes simple, reliable and scientific methods of sampling and assessment on scale for high impact at low cost.
•Builds nationwide local participation by involving ordinary citizens in understanding the current situation in elementary education.
•Completes survey in approximately 100 days engaging over 25,000 volunteers each year and covering over 300,000 households in 570 rural districts.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir released the ASER J&K state report 2011
Dignitaries of the Planning Commission and Education Department released the ASER report in 2010
Education Minister released the ASER report in 2010
District Institutes of Education & Training have partnered with ASER to conduct the survey in all districts of AP every year since 2007
The Chief Minister released the ASER report in 2009
After a successful release of the ASER findings in 2011, ASER Centre was hired by the government of Gujarat to evaluate the performance of their Gunotsav program
ASER was quoted in the CUTS’ Memo to Chief Minister of Rajasthan on the occasion of Pre- Budget Consultation with NGOs in
Punjab Education Minister launched the ASER Punjab state report in 2010
SSA officials released the ASER Himachal Pradesh state report in 2010
the ASER Uttarakhand state report in 2011
Officials from the Education Department and SSA were present for the ASER Manipur state report release in 2010
Leader of the Opposition Party released the ASER Meghalaya state report in 2010
Minister of Higher Education and Secretary Mass Education released the ASER Odisha state report in 2010
Secretary Education released the ASER West Bengal state report in 2010
Chief Minister of Bihar released the ASER Bihar state report in 2010
At A Glance
SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN
•Teacher : - One teacher for every 40 children in Primary and Upper Primary . - At least two teachers in a Primary School. - One teacher for every class in the Upper Primary.
•Free Text Books: All girls / SC/ST students at Primary and Upper Primary level are provided with free text books.
•Teacher Training : Provision of 20 days in-service training for all teachers in a year.
•VEC :A 9 member Village Education Committee (VEC) is formed in each formal schools .
•BRC / CRC : Block Resource Centres are to be established in each CD blocks of the district. Each CD block is again classified in to 17 Clusters and Cluster Resource Centres(CRCs) are to be established in each 17 Clusters of the block .
Norms of SSA
•Cluster Level Planning Team (CLPT). A nine member Cluster Level Planning Team has already been formed at each cluster to prepare a need based grass root educational plan for the respective cluster. The CRCC of the concerned cluster is the member convener of the CLPT .
• Block level Planning Team (BLPT). A twelve member block level planning team has already been constituted to prepare block level educational plan . The BDO and BRCC of the concerned block are the chairman and member convenor respectively of the BLPT .
• Orientation of BRCCs and CRCCs on Educational Planning . All 5 BRCCs and 48 CRCCs have already been oriented on the planning process , information collection methodologies , educational indicators and preparation of block and cluster level educational plan .
• Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B). The Annual Work Plan & Budget (2008-2009) of the district has already been prepared and at submitted at S.P.O after due approval from Collector-cum-Chairman , SSA , Jharsuguda.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan ( Problems Galore):
•The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, started with much fanfare in 2001 to impart primary education to children in the age-group of 6-14 years, who did not have the ways and means to attain education, is in danger of losing sheen with a multitude of problems confronting it.
•Although it was a noble thought but the much talked about mid-day meal scheme, an essential part of it, seems to be worsening day by day. Certain self-help groups are making food for children.
•The reason for why it is not being prepared by the school authorities as stated by the education department of Punjab government was, “The kitchens are not ready as yet. It has been a few years since the mid-day meal scheme started and the kitchens could not be constructed due to paucity of funds,” an employee from the education department said.
•Recently, the government started a radio education programme. Every government school was supposed to put a radio on the school premises through which children were made to hear educative and entertaining programmes. It was supposed to start on August 16 but the project was delayed.
•“There are 400 students and just one radio for a school. At times it becomes difficult for us to even listen to what is being broadcast,” rued a tiny-tot from a local government school.
•“Children who attend schools under the SSA scheme are poor and generally from labour class. They often stay at far-flung areas as rents on the city outskirts are less as compared to the heart of the town.
•“These children cannot afford to hire a rickshaw or any other conveyance. So, the result is they quit school after a few months. The government is spending so much on education, so it should provide school vans for these kids.
•Children under the SSA scheme have uneducated parents who do not understand the meaning of education, leave alone teaching a child.
•A local schoolteacher said, “The government had started revision camps for teachers. These camps take place from 9 am to 5 pm. Around 35 teachers are being trained at our school.
Drop out rates 10% drops out at each level.
Drop out rates
Enrolment Data Sheet
Per capita income connection – poorer states have higher absence rates (7.2% less absence rate if per capita income doubled) • Official duty – 1% absence • Other reasons account for 8-10% absence
In India, we have been striving to increase allocations to primary education, and we notice that sixty-five per cent of the plan allocation for the year 1999-2000 has been earmarked for elementary education. A new initiative has been envisaged for participation of the girl child. Allocation to operation black board has been enhanced from Rs. 304 crores to Rs. 400 crores and allocation to DPEP has been increased from Rs. 727 crores to Rs. 754 crores. A sum of Rs 160 crores has been assigned to the national strategy for participation of girls and there has been an upward revision of the existing schemes and also for upgrading infrastructural facilities. Out of the plan allocation for education for the ninth five-year plan, which amounts to Rs. 20381 crores, Rs. 7937 crores is allotted to primary education alone, and the programme for universalisation of elementary education has received the allocation of Rs. 3035 crores. These are significant figures, and it is also significant that to non-formal education, which is indispensable for effective primary education in our country, Rs. 350 crores have been allocated.
our researches need to have a three fold focus:
1)promotion of non-formal education at the primary levels, -- even at the kindergarten level, which is greatly neglected;
2) teaching and learning in the non-formal setting so as to determine and provide conditions and capabilities that would enhance the effectiveness of non-formal system of primary and kindergarten education;
3) production of teaching and learning materials that can be effectively used in the non-formal setting and which can eventually be used also in the formal setting. It may also be added that efforts need to be promoted all over the country whereby informal education is also encouraged and brought to higher levels of effectivity.
The goals of primary education are closely related to the goals of elementary education. Since elementary education is the first terminal point of the educational ladder, it may be observed that it is natural that a large number of students will leave the cadre of education at that very terminal point. This means that elementary education ought to provide to each student three important abilities arising from:
a) adequate training of the heart, head and hand that would aid in the flowering of intelligence, power of imagination, and skills to utilise elementary tools that are used for productive and creative work;
b) adequate understanding of the environment, knowledge of the preservation of health, and development of habits that would keep the body strong and fit, and responsible understanding of basic duties; and
c) adequate capacity
Primary Education: Vision, Objectives, Problems and Recommendations
» Ensure sustainable education systems, delivering quality services and retaining professional staff.
» Ensure universal coverage in primary education, including for poor and underserved populations in rural areas and urban slums.
» Raise domestic spending on education to 15 to 20 per cent of national budgets, while giving priority to basic education.
» Provide $11 billion in aid needed annually to achieve universal primary education by 2015.
» Integrate education as a key part of humanitarian responses to post-conflict and emergency situations.
» Eliminate school fees, particularly for low-income families.
» Provide cash transfers to poor families conditional on their children’s, especially girls’, enrolment or attendance in school.
» Provide children with transportation to and from school when needed.
» Offer free meals and basic health services at school to improve children’s health, nutrition and cognitive development.
» Expand pre-primary school educational programmes.
» Train more teachers and effectively retrain and motivate those in the profession.
» Ensure adequate teaching materials and distribute textbooks free of charge. quality education for all.
What Needs to be Done?