Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship programme for the universalization of elementary education. It aims to provide quality education to the students as it was by the 86th amendment of the constitution that there would be free and compulsory education for 6 to 14-year group children.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the pioneer of the SSA. But there is a big difference between the ground-level reality and the objectives of SSA. We need to strike a blow against the system that works against rural students. So I will put light on the factors affecting the SSA.
Teachers, students and infrastructure are crucial parts of the success of SSA.
Objectives of SSA
1)Universalizing elementary education:
Universalization of elementary education refers to
c)Universal access to quality education
for children up to the age of 14.
2)Universal access and improvement of elementary education.
3)Bridging gender and social gaps in education.
4)Enhancing the level of child education.
The Reality of SSA during the Corona period
1)During the covid-19 pandemic, only 20% of school-age children in India had access to online or remote education. Out of 20%, only 50% participated in live online classes.
2)38% of the household said at least one child had dropped out of school due to covid-19. The survey also found that although digital connectivity shot up 40% during the pandemic, low access to devices, poor signal, and high costs prevented most children from reaping the benefits.
3)Near about 80% of the age group 5-18 who were enrolled in schools before the pandemic did not receive any education. The situation was significantly worse among the lower socioeconomic classes, where the head of the household had lower education levels.
4)Among the 20% who received the education, 50-55% of students had access to live online classes, of which 68% had access to recorded audio and video lessons. Three-forth of the students had work sent to them over a smartphone.
Problems Related to Teachers:
“The tragedy of education is played in 2 scenes- incompetent pupils facing competent teachers and incompetent teachers facing competent pupils” -Martin H Fischer
1)Teachers are a crucial part of the development of the child. But they are not adequately trained to implant the learnings in their minds.
2)According to the official report, 23.6% of teachers were absent during an unannounced school visit. The estimated salary cost of unauthorized teachers was around 1.5 billion dollars per year.
3)Teachers are much time engaged with government duties. According to the survey by the Azim Premji foundation, 2.5% of the teachers are absent without reason, 7% of teachers are on Government’s official duties, and 9% of the teachers are on paid leave.
4)During the Pandemic, Only 15% of government school teachers were trained to teach on the online platform.
1) Strict qualification examination on a regular interval during the period to check the knowledge of the practical world.
2) Reducing non-educational-related duties.
3)Give fair wages to newly appointed teachers to motivate them to work.
4)Providing the latest technical support and knowledge to teachers so that education should not suffer from situations like covid.
Students and their Problems:
1)According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Report 2021, 50% of class 5 students cannot read the text of the class 2 level.
2)Students are not attracted to the school. There is a vicious cycle where teachers think that rural students don’t deserve the education, and the interest in the study is beginning to peter out.
3)Lack of transport facilities which keep away students from school.
4)Lack of governance in providing mid-day meals to students as many officials hush up the facts about the data.
1)The state needs to grapple with the issue of transport by merging with companies like MYBYK.
2)To iron out the education problem in rural areas is to change the mindset of the parents by creating awareness through learning camps.
3)Primary education in vernacular language to get interested in the ocean of knowledge.
4)Adding 1% extra enthusiasm in teaching.
5)Special facilities in terms of documents for migrant students.
6)Occupational training programs for students by the students.
For example, A student from the Kumbhar family may guide his classmates about making small pots at home from garden soil, etc.
How can we develop the infrastructure?
1)Merging optical fibre through the Bharat net scheme to all government schools under the constituency of the Panchayat.
2) Develop the national knowledge network to ensure the credibility of knowledge.
3) Building the toilets for Girls will be a masterstroke for bringing girls back to school.
Going to school is the right of every student. We need to focus on how every child will exercise this right.
The mindset of citizens toward education:
Education means ‘to help to grow’. But we see that it seems a burden for many people and screws up the value of education. The University education commission also stated, “There cannot be educated people without educated women”. To chalk up an egalitarian society, we need to emphasize the importance of education among the masses.
Government Initiatives to Boost the Education Sector
1) PM e-VIDYA
Unifies all efforts related to digital education.
2) DIKSHA (One nation-one digital platform)
It is a nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content.
3) TV (One class- one channel)
One dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes.
Online courses in MOOCS format for school and higher education.
Digitally Accessible Information System for specially-abled persons.