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Report No. 165

5.3.10. District Primary Education Programme.-

The District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) is a special thrust and a new initiative to achieve Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE). The programme takes a holistic view of primary education development and seeks to operationalise the strategy of UEE through district specific planning with emphasis on decentralised management, participatory processes, empowerment and capacity building at all levels. The programme is implemented through the State level registered societies.

5.3.11. The programme aims at improvising access to primary education for all children, reducing primary dropout rates to less than 10 per cent., increasing learning achievement of primary school students by 25 per cent. and reducing the Jenifer end social gap to less than gender and social gap to less than five per cent.

5.3.12. The programme is structured to provide additional inputs over and above the Central/State Sector Schemes for elementary education. The programme fills in the existing gaps in the development of primary education and seeks to revitalise the existing system. DPEP is contextual and has a marked gender focus.

The programme components include construction of classrooms and new schools, opening of non-formal/alternative schooling centres, appointment of new teachers, setting up early childhood education centre, strengthening of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)/ District Institute of Education Training (DIETs), setting up of block resource centres/cluster resource centres, teacher training, development of teaching learning material, research based interventions, special interventions for education of girls, education of SC/ST etc. A new initiative of providing integrated education to disabled children and distance education for teacher training has also been incorporated in the DPEP Scheme.

5.3.13. The district is the unit of programme implementation and selected on the basic of twin criteria, viz., (a) educationally backward districts with female literacy below the national average, and (b) districts where total literacy campaigns (TLCs) have been successful, leading to enhanced demand for elementary education

5.3.14. DPEP is a centrally-sponsored scheme. Eighty-five per cent. of the project cost is provided by the Government of India which is resourced by external funding, which is already tied up to the extent of Rs. 3,450 crore. The balance 15 per cent. is shared by the participating states. The World Bank is providing assistance to the tune of US $ 200.3 million (Rs. 806 crore) for the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) phase-I and an amount of US$ 425.0 million (Rs. 1,480 crore) for DPEP Phase-II for which a grant from Government of Netherland amounting to US $ 25.8 million (Rs. 90 crore) is also tied up. The European Community has made available a grant of ECU's 150 million (approximately Rs. 585 crore), for implementation of DPEP in 19 districts of Madhya Pradesh.

5.3.15. Assistance from ODA of UK amounting to Rs. 42.5 million (Rs. 255 crore) and Rs. 37.71 million (Rs. 226,22 crore) is available for DPEP in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal respectively. The World Bank has also offered assistance for coverage of 17 educational districts (27 revenue districts) in Bihar under DPEP phase-III.

5.3.16. The programme, which was initially launched in 42 districts of seven States in 1994, is now covering a total of 122 districts in 13 states. The programme implementation has shown promising results as per reports of various supervision missions and evaluatory studies. The programme is encouraging application of numerous innovative and practical interventions for improving access, retention and quality of education.



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