Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
SSA launched in 2001-02 is implemented in partnership with the States and is the main vehicle for providing elementary education to all children in the 6-14 age-group:
Objectives of SSA
- To provide universal elementary education
- Universal access and retention districts and blocks with
- Bridging of gender and social category, predominantly of SC, ST, OBC, gaps in EE and minority populations. Significant enhancement in learning (441 districts) levels of children
- It encompasses all activities of school education, viz. providing physical infrastructure, free textbooks for children, encouraging enrolment of girls and teacher training.
- The fund-sharing arrangement between the Centre and the States was 50:50 in the Eleventh Plan. However, in view of persistent demand from States, the funding pattern for the Eleventh Plan was modified to a tapering-operation of 65:35 for the first two years, 60:40 for the third year, 55:45 for the fourth year and 50:50 thereafter.
- SSA has ensured almost universal access to primary education. e following achievements are worth noting:
- The achievements of the SSA till 2013-14 include opening of 3,57,611 new primary and upper primary schools, construction of 2,77,093 school buildings, construction of 15,87,836 additional classrooms, provision of 2,23,939 drinking water facilities, construction of 7,83,349 toilets, appointment of 15.06 lakh teachers, in-service training for 53.33 lakh teachers at block and cluster resource centres, and a significant reduction in the number of school drop outs.
- The number of rural habitations with access to a primary school increased from 87 per cent in 2002 to 99 per cent in 2008, and that of an upper primary school from 78 per cent to 92 per cent during the same period.
- Significant reduction in the number of out-of-school children on account of SSA interventions has been noted. The number of out-of-school children has come down from 134.6 lakh in 2005 to 81.5 lakh in 2009 as per an independent study.
- The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at primary level improved from 96.3 per cent in 2001-02 to 114.6 per cent in 2007-08, that for upper primary from 60.2 per cent to 77.5 per cent and in the total elementary cycle (I-VIII) from 82.4 per cent to 100.5 per cent.
Improvement in Educational Indicators:
- The census 2011 estimated 20.78 crore children in the 6-13 age group.
- As per UDISE 2015-16, enrolment in elementary schools was 19.67 crore children in 14.49 lakh elementary schools.
- There has been a significant reduction in the number of out of school children in the 6-14 years age group, from 134.6 lakh in 2005 to 81 lakh in 2009 and further to 61 lakh in 2014.
- The annual average dropout rate at primary level has come down from 9.11% in 2009-10 to 4.13% in 2015-16.
- The transition rate from primary to upper primary has gone up from 83.53% in 2009-10 to 90.14% in 2015-16.
- The Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) has improved from 32 in 2009-10 to 24 in 2015-16.
- The GERs in respect of SCs and STs at primary and upper primary levels have increased at a faster rate than that for all categories put together for the corresponding period.
Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the State Governments and UT Administrations are supported on several interventions to improve teaching standards, including regular in-service teachers' training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, training of all untrained teachers to acquire professional qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode, recruitment of additional teachers for better pupil-teacher ratios, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, continuous and comprehensive evaluation system to equip the teacher to measure pupil performance and provide remedial action wherever required, and teacher and school grants for development of appropriate teaching-learning materials, etc.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 specific statutory duties and responsibilities of teachers and lays down the minimum qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in elementary schools.
The Central Government through SSA has supported States/ UTs on early grade reading, writing & comprehension, and early Mathematics programmes through a sub-programme namely 'Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat' in classes I and II.
Further the Government has launched 'Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan' (RAA) programme on 09.07.2015, inter alia, as a sub-component of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), to motivate and engage children of the age group from 6-18 years in Science, Mathematics and Technology through observation, experimentation, inference drawing, model building, etc. both through inside and outside classroom activities.
The Central Government has launched the 'Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching' in December, 2014 with a vision to comprehensively address all issues related to teachers, teaching, teacher preparation, professional development, curriculum design, research in pedagogy and developing effective pedagogy.