The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the flagship programme launched by the Government of India to achieve the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time-bound manner as mandated by the Constitution of India. The 86th amendment to the Constitution of India made the Right to Education a Fundamental Right. The Right to Education provides for free and compulsory education to children aged between 6-14 years.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) anchors the SSA programme. The SSA programme has been operational from 2000-2001. However, with the introduction of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, changes were made in the SSA scheme.
The SSA scheme is implemented in partnership with the State Governments to cover the entire country and address the requirements of 192 million children in 1.1 million habitations. In 2018, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan were subsumed and merged to form the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme.
Features of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme
The features of the SSA scheme are as follows:
- This scheme was launched for the implementation of universal elementary education in a defined time frame.
- This scheme provides quality basic education all over the country.
- It facilitates promoting social justice by providing basic education to children.
- It effectively involves the School Management Committees, Panchayati Raj institutions, Village Education Committees, Parents’ Teachers’ Associations, Mother Teacher Associations and Tribal Autonomous Councils in the management of the elementary schools.
- It creates a partnership between the State, Central and the local government for imparting education.
- It provides an opportunity for the States for developing its own vision of elementary education.
Objectives of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme
The SSA scheme seeks to positively impact curriculum, educational planning, teacher education, and management. The broad objectives of the SSA scheme are as follows:
- To establish new schools in such habitations which do not have any schooling facilities.
- To arrange for alternative schooling facilities.
- To strengthen the existing school infrastructure by providing drinking water facilities, additional classrooms and toilets.
- To manage maintenance grants and school improvement grants.
- To provide uniforms and free textbooks to the school children.
- To provide and increase the strength of teachers by appointing additional teachers in the schools that have a shortage of teachers.
- To give quality elementary education and life skills to the students.
- To promote girls’ education for bringing a change in the status of women.
- To promote the education of children with special needs or differently-abled children.
- To promote equal education opportunity to children of households belonging to SC/ST, landless agricultural labourers, the muslim minority, etc.
- To understand the educational requirements of the children of traditionally excluded categories.
- To bridge the digital divide by giving computer education to school children.
- To strengthen and enhance the capacity and skills of the existing school teachers through extensive training, grants for developing materials of teachers-learning and strengthening academic support structure at a block, cluster, and district level.
Initiative Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme
The SSA scheme initiated the ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ programme in 2014. The Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat programme seeks to improve the reading and writing skills of Class I and Class II children and their mathematics skills. It aims to help the children understand the joys of reading and writing from a real-life perspective.
The Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat programme emphasises the importance of children’s literature in helping them become excellent writers and readers. This programme ensures that the schools In India become better at providing quality education. This programme is planned in a twin-track approach, which is as follows:
- To improve children’s language development through generating interest in writing and reading with comprehension, and
- To create a positive and natural interest in mathematics related to the social and physical world.
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