Improving the quality of Education

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The Central Government through the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiskha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) supports States/UTs to improve quality of education at elementary and secondary level respectively. Under these schemes, the State Governments and UT Administrations are supported on several interventions to improve quality of education, teaching standards, including regular in-service teachers’ training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, recruitment of additional teachers for improving pupil teacher ratio, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, Maths and Science kits, Lab equipment, special teaching for learning enhancement, ICT facilities in schools, introduction of vocational education component at the secondary level and activities under ‘Unnati’ project for improvement in English language skills.

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The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducts periodic national surveys of learning achievement of children in classes III, V and VIII and X. Four rounds of National Achievement Survey (NAS) have been conducted so far for class V and three rounds for classes III & VIII. These surveys reveal improvement in learning achievement levels of pupils, in identified subjects from first round to fourth round. Findings of the NAS at class X indicates that privately managed schools performed better than Government and Government Aided schools, in all the subjects and in two subjects Girls outperformed boys. However, only first round of NAS has been conducted at class X level. From current year onwards, Government has decided to conduct National Achievement Survey with district as the sampling unit. In order to focus on quality education, the Central RTE Rules have been amended on 20th February, 2017 to include reference on class-wise, subject-wise Learning Outcomes, to serve as a guideline for States/UTs to ensure that all children acquire appropriate learning levels. The Learning Outcomes for each class at elementary stage in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science have been finalized and shared with all States and UTs. The learning outcomes are displayed in the respective schools and parents are also apprised. The teachers are also trained accordingly.

Further, Section 23(2) of the RTE Act has been amended to extend the period for training of untrained in-service elementary teachers to 31st March, 2019. As per above amendment, all untrained in-service teachers working in Government, Government aided, and Private un-aided schools should acquire minimum qualification as laid down by an academic authority, authorized by the Central Government, by 31st March, 2019. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has been entrusted to conduct this training through ODL(Open Distance Learning) mode. The onlineD.El.Ed. course has already been started from 3rd October, 2017.

In addition to above, the Central Government, supports States and UTs on early grade reading, writing & comprehension, and early Mathematics programmes through a sub-programme of SSA namely ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ (PBBB) in classes I and II. Further, the Government has launched Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan (RAA) programme on 09.07.2015, inter alia, as a subcomponent 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. Further, for improving the quality of school education, the School Standards & Evaluation framework, known as ‘Shaala Siddhi’ has been developed, to enable schools to evaluate their performance in a more focused and strategic manner and to facilitate them to make professional judgments for improvement. To improve the condition of the Government schools, the Central government also supports State/UT Governments for creation and augmentation of infrastructural facilities in Government elementary and secondary schools under SSA and RMSA programmes.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.

Credit, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

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