Kurukshetra 2019 Rural Education (Download PDF)

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Policy And Planning Towards Rural Education: MHRD of GoI. Works thru. 2 departments: 1) Department of School Education & Literacy. 2) Department of Higher Education. & since education is a subject of Concurrent List, therefore Central Govt. & State Govt. work together for betterment of education sector.

Status of Education in India (Rural vs. Urban)

  • As per Census 2011, literacy rate in rural areas was around 68 % while it was 84 % in urban areas.
  • only 59 % of rural women were estimated to be literate as compared to nearly 80 % urban women being literate in 2011.

Findings of NSS 71st Round (January-June, 2014)

  • Literacy Rate among persons (aged 5 years & above) in India was 76 % in rural areas it was 71 % compared to 86 % in urban areas, in both rural & urban areas, more than 90 % households reported availability of primary school w/I 1 km from house as per survey.

Access to Computer & Internet (NSS 71st Round)

  • Nearly 6 % of rural households & 29 % of urban households possessed a computer. Among households w/at least 1 member of age 14 years & above, nearly 16 % among rural households had internet access as compared to 49 % urban households Among persons of age 14 - 29 years, nearly 18 % in rural areas & 49 % in urban areas were able to operate a computer.

National Achievement Survey 2017

  • National Achievement Survey 2017 (NAS 2017) of MHRD, Gol is amongst largest surveys conducted in world. It tried to assess attainment of competency-based learning outcomes of 2.2 million students from 1,10,000 schools across 701 districts in all 36 States/Uts.
  • Some of concerns which have been thrown up by various studies taken up by both public & private institutions include not only availability (infrastructure like schools/colleges etc. ) but also accessibility (distance), quality (learning outcomes), education of girl child, quality of Teaching, skills education among others.

Govt. initiatives for Rural Areas

  • Expansion of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya’s, pan-India expansion of Samagra Siksha & voluminous increase in budgetary allocations expansion of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya’s, improvements in quality of Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Swachhata Abhiyan Massive Online courses, expansion of Eklavya Model Residential School Scheme, digital initiatives & promoting several other education related interventions by states are some important efforts of govt. development of rural education.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya

  • Ministry of HRD is running Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in states across country (except Tamil Nadu) & provides free & quality education to talented rural children, comparable to best in a residential school system for Class VI to XII. Total 661 Navodaya Vidyalaya are running successfully w/provision of at least 75 % seats for rural children.

Samagra Shiksha

  • This is an ambitious Programme of Govt. to promote holistic education. It subsumes 3 earlier centrally sponsored schemes i. e. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) & Teacher Education (TE) & is recently launched as an integrated scheme for School Education extending from pre-school to class XII.
  • Under scheme, provision is made for giving preference to Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Educationally Backward Blocks (EEBs), LWE affected districts & aspirational districts while planning interventions like setting up of primary schools, upper primary schools, construction of additional classrooms, toilets & Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya’s (KGBVs),
  • Library Grant under Samagra Shiksha will benefit schools in rural areas, most of which have dearth of such reading facilities & will be able to provide this facility for 1st time to their students.
  • Samagra Shiksha focuses on improvement in quality of education by providing support for diff. interventions like in-service training of teachers & school heads, grants for library, sports & physical activities support for Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, ICT (Information & communication Technology) & digital initiatives, remedial teaching for academically weaker students, support for Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat.

Revamped Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) Scheme

  • Revamped scheme of KGBVs under Samagra Shiksha will now provide facility of at least 1 residential school for girls from Classes VI-XII in every educationally backward block which does not have residential schools under any other Scheme, Approximately 3700 KGBV hostels for rural underprivileged girls are to be expanded up to 12th class under scheme benefitting more than 6 lakh rural girls mostly from SC. ST. OBC. Minority & other deprived section of society.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme

  • NSS 71st Round shows a high percentage of students in rural areas availing of Mid-day Meal i. e. as high as 70 % student getting mid-day meals in rural areas One of objectives of this scheme was to attract children from disadvantaged sections like poor, Dalits, tribals, girls & children of labour workforce including farm labour.

Revamped Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) Scheme

  • An important intervention by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, objective of EMRS is to Provide quality & free of cost middle & high level education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) Students especially in remote areas.
  • By year 2022, every block w/more than 50 % ST population & at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Modal Residential School. Out of 564 sub-districts, at present 102 sub-districts have EMRSs.
  • Department of School Education & Literacy launched Swachh Vidyalaya initiative (SVI) for construction & repair of separate toilets for girls & Boys in every school which was completed w/I a year in 2015.
  • Recent launch of Operation Digital Board aims to introduce digital boards all over country in govt. & govt. -aided schools for nearly 1.5 lakh Secondary/Sr. Secondary Schools. Similarly, UGC proposes to take up 300 universities & about 10,000 colleges in 1st phase covering 2 lakh classrooms.
  • e-PATHSHALA – NCERT Books are now available in digital version for free for anybody.
  • As on 26 February, 2019, visits to e-Pathshala crossed 4.0 cr. App enjoys a rating of 4 out of 5 on Google paly store & 4.5 out on 5 on Windows store.
  • Diksha is digital platform for teachers to enable capacity building of all categories of teachers.
  • MOOCs on SWAYAM Platform- it is an integrated platform for offering online courses & covering school (9th to 12th) to Post Graduate Level Till July 2019,2769 MOOCs (Massive open Online Courses) have been offered on SWAYAM,
  • SWAYAM PRABHA (Kishor Manch) DTH-TV Channels have been launched for transmission of educational e-contents thru. 32 National Channels i. e. SWAYAM PRABHA DTV-TV
  • National Digital Library of India (NDL) is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources w/a single-window search facility.

Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme

  • as per AISHE 2018 - 19 Report (All India Survey of Higher Education) 993 Universities, 39931 Colleges & 10725 Stand Alone Institutions are listed on AISHE web portal.
  • NITI Aayog has identified some aspirational districts & ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme aims to expeditiously improve status of Higher Education in 117 aspirational districts from across 28 states. During 1st phase of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shilsha Abhiyan (RUSA), central assistance to States is provided for creation of 1 Model Degree College each in 60 Educationally Backward Districts.
  • National Initiative for School Heads & Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) is launched very recently to build capacities of 42 lakh elementary school level teachers, principals, block resource center coordinators & cluster resource center coordinators. Basic objective of ‘NISHTHA’ Programme is to motivate & equip teachers to encourage & foster critical thinking in students.

Vision of Draft New Education Policy (NEP) to Increase Supply of Good Quality Teachers in Rural Areas

  • Draft NEP envisions creating special merit-scholarships which will also include guaranteed employment in their local areas upon successful completion of their 4 year integrated B. Ed. Programmes.
  • incentives like housing will be provided for teachers to take up teaching jobs in rural areas, especially in those rural areas w/greatest current teacher shortages.
  • Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) is a Programme run by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under NITI Aayog to foster curiosity & innovative mindset in young students across India to encourage research & innovation in schools across country
  • Under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, each Higher Education Institution will be linked w/at least 5 villages to engage faculty & students of these Institutions in understanding rural realities; to identify technologies, innovative methods to solve problems of rural people; & to allow Higher Education Institutions to contribute in devising systems.
  • Swachh Bharat Summer Internship (SBSI) aims at engaging college youth w/Swachhata work. Candidates are required to undertake 100 hours of Swachhata related activities including Shramdaan, creation of sanitation infrastructure, behaviour change campaigns & other IEC initiatives in & around nearby villages.

Strategy to Promote Rural Education

  • United Nations Human Development Report reveals a doubling in mean year of schooling from 3.0 to 6.4 b/w years 1990 & 2017.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education For All) launched in 2000, Mid-Day Meal Scheme initiated in 2001, as well as enactment of Right to Education Act in 2009, have been instrumental in increasing enrolment & providing equitable education opportunities.
  • 2018 survey estimates suggest that only half children can read & less than a third can do basic arithmetic.
  • NITI Aayog is also steering Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) program in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh & Odisha, Home to 7 % India’s rural population & 8 % of total schools these 3 states are undertaking simultaneous academic & administrative reforms w/an aim to – create efficient schools, enhance human resource capacity, strengthen organization structure & most importantly, improve learning outcomes.
  • NITI Aayog released School Education Quality Index-SEQI. Index provides 1st national ranking of States, based on success of their school education systems. Covering critical parameters including learning outcomes, access, equity, infrastructure as well as governance processes, index provides a relative & fair comparison of states & Union Territories (Uts).
  • w/over 50 % of workforce estimated to come from rural India in 2050, it is imperative to establish strongest foundations of learning thru. School education.

Impact of Right to Education

  • State shall provide free & compulsory education to all children of age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as State may, by law, determine

Main Features of Act:

  • Act makes education a fundamental right of every child b/w ages of 6 & 14 years & specifies minimum conditions or input criteria that have to be met in all elementary schools. It mandates all private schools to reserve 25 % of seats, absolutely free of cost, for children belonging to disadvantaged categories, which is to be reimbursed by State, it prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, & also states that provision for donation or capitation fees is not permissible as well as that no child or parent should be required to appear for interviews prior to admission.
  • RTE Act identify children who should be getting an education in school & set up facilities for provisions such as teacher-student ration, minimum infrastructure (drinking water, separate toilets for girls & boys, libraries, playgrounds, classrooms ramps, boundary walls, etc. ) shall be made available in all schools.
  • Section 29 of Act provides for curriculum & evaluation procedure in elementary schools.
  • Academic authority must ensure adherence to following eight factors as stated in RTE Act.

Identifying & Correcting Some Implementation Gaps

  • Section 12 (1) (c) of Act is subject of much research in education policy space. It is this section that mandates non-minority private unaided schools to reserve 25 % of their entry-level seats for children belonging to disadvantaged categories to create a more socially integrated & inclusive schooling system.

MHRD Announces National Educational Alliance for Technology Scheme

  • MHRD has announced a new PPP Scheme, National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) for using technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education on 19th September 2019.
  • Objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised & customised as per requirements of learner.
  • Educating youth is a National effort & MHRD proposes to create a National Alliance w/such technology development EdTech Companies thru. A PPP model.
  • MHRD would create & maintain a National NEAT platform that would provide one-stop access to these technological solutions. EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions & manage registration of learners thru. NEAT portal.
  • AICTE would be implementing agency for NEAT Programme. Scheme shall be administered under guidance of an Apex Committee constituted by MHRD. Independent Expert Committees would be constituted for evaluating & selecting EdTech solutions. MoUs will be signed w/shortlisted EdTech companies. Awareness programs would be taken up by MHRD to create awareness of NEAT Solutions to teachers & students.
  • MHRD proposes to launch & operationalize NEAT in early November 2019.
  • Deepening of TE involves – (1) enlarging bouquet of courses; (2) bringing in new techno –pedagogical practices; (3) leveraging Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in education; & (4) designing & conducting several thematic modular courses for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers.
  • Another aspect of deepening TE entails attracting good students to profession of teaching. Draft New Education Policy (NEP) envisages a 4 year integrated B. Ed. course w/attractive variations to attract bright students to B. Ed.
  • Draft NEP envisages to bring TE under umbrella of higher education & proposed National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) would be sole regulator whereas NCTE would transform into a Professional Standard Setting Board (PSSB).

Availability of Teachers for Better Education

  • Education is that by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded & by which one can stand on one’s own feet.
  • As per Draft NEP (2019), “Teachers truly shape future of our children- &, therefore, future of out nation. It is thru. Teachers that our children are imparted w/values, knowledge, empathy, creativity, ethics, life skills, & social responsibility.
  • Key components of quality include: teachers, effective classroom processes, assessments & evaluations of student’s learning school infrastructure. School leadership & community participation.
  • Block Resource Centres (BRCs) & Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs) can flourish only w/strong academic institutions like District Institutes of Educational & Training (DIETs) & State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERTs) supporting them.
  • A good relationship b/w school & community is very often result of having a good Head Teacher.

Issues Regarding Teachers

  • Lock of initiatives & mechanisms that explicitly aim to recruit best performing students or those that have most talent for teaching into teaching profession.
  • Quality teacher education is severely lacking & indeed in a crisis at current time. There are approximately 17,000 teacher education institutions in country, of which over 92 % are privately owned.
  • Next major issue is that of deployment of teachers. According to govt. data, country faces over 10 lakh teacher vacancies – a large proportion of them in rural areas- leading to Pupil Teacher Rations (PTRs) that are even larger than 60: 1 in certain areas.
  • Lack of sufficient infrastructure, resources, & supplies are other impediments that affect availability of teachers, especially in rural India.
  • Inspite of Right to Education Act mandating teachers not to indulge in non teaching activities teachers are often asked to spend large portions of their time on activities, such as midday meal preparation, administrative tasks, data management, etc.
  • Finally issues like salary, Promotion, etc, in school system are hardly based on merit & competence.

Suggestions to Improve Teacher Efficacy

  • To ensure that truly excellent students enter teaching profession from & in rural areas merit-based scholarships need to be instituted across country. In order to gauge passion & motivation for teaching, a classroom demonstration or interview should become an integral part of teacher hiring at schools.
  • A comprehensive teacher requirement planning exercise need to be conducted in each State to assess expected teacher & subject vacancies over next 2 decades.
  • All Schools need to be equipped w/adequate & safe infrastructure, including working toilets clean drinking water, clean & attractive spaces electricity, computers & internet in order to ensure that teachers & students are comfortable & inspired to teach & learn.
  • In collaboration w/parents & other key local stakeholders, teachers will also be more involved in governance of schools & decision making including as members of School Management Committees.
  • Finally, teachers need be given more autonomy in choosing finer aspects of curriculum & pedagogy, so that they may teach in manner that they find most effective for students in their classrooms & communities.
  • Teachers must be given constant opportunities for self-improvement & to learn latest innovations.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 20, 2019

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