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Report No. 165

5.3.6. Elementary Education.-

The revised Programme of Action 1992 of the NPE, 1986 resolves to ensure free and compulsory education of satisfactory quality to all children upto 14 years before we enter the 21st century. In order to operationalise the revised policy of the Government, the following three sub-schemes were proposed under -Operation Blackboard during the Eighth Plan:

(i) continuation of the ongoing scheme to cover all the remaining schools identified as on 30 September, 1986;

(ii) expanding the scope of the scheme to provide three rooms and three teachers in primary schools with enrolment exceeding 100 with provision for about 50 per cent. women teachers in primary schools as mandatory for all states/UTs; and

(iii) extending the scope of the scheme to upper primary 'schools. The expanded schemes have been started since 1993-94.

5.3.7. To achieve the goal of Universalisation of Elementary Education, the Non-Formal Education Programme had been put into operation in 1979-80 to provide education of a quality comparable to formal system to children who do not/cannot attend school, school dropouts, girls who cannot attend whole day schools and working children. The scheme was reorganised and expanded in 1987-88 and again in 1993. Under the Scheme, assistance is given to the States/ Union Territories in the ratio of 60:40 and 90:10 for running general Co-educational and girls centres respectively. Cent per cent. assistance is given to voluntary agencies for running non-formal education centres and undertaking experimental and innovative projects.

Presently 2.86 lakh centres have been sanctioned for imparting education to about 71 lakh children. About 1.18 lakh centres are exclusively for girls. Under another Centrally-sponsored scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teachers Education;" launched in 1987-88, 433 DIETs, 110 CTEs/IASEs have been established throughout the country to impart good quality of pre-service and in-service training to teachers and 19 SCERTs have been strengthened.

5.3.8. In elementary education the focus has been shifted from enrolment per se to retention and achievement. The Minimum Levels to Learning programme answers the third dimension of Universalisation of Elementary Education, namely, universal achievement. Laying down competency to be mastered by all children in the country at a particular grade, the programme envisages a package of quality improvement. It incorporates curricular revision, teacher orientation and improved pedagogy to handle multi-grad situations. A Committee has also been constituted to lay down Minimum Levels of Learning for subjects taught at upper primary stage.

5.3.9. In the first phase, 18 projects were taken up and after working in 4,000 primary schools, the programme is being upstaged through the institutional mechanism of DIETs and SCERTs in about 12 States. After this period of initiation the programme would be extended and expanded to cover the entire school system by 2000 AD. Currently, about 200 DIETs have been oriented in the comprehensive strategy.

Free and compulsory Education for Children Back

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