Study on Bundelkhand of Planning Commission: Education - Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission: State Effort In Education

Study on Bundelkhand of Planning Commission: Education - Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission: State Effort In Education.


Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission: State Effort In Education.

This is a mission to universalise primary education and promote literacy. Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission (RGSM) is conceived of as a convergence modality that brings together the two programmes of universalising primary education through externally aided District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) and Total Literacy Campaigns of the National Literacy Mission. Under DPEP, a total of 34 educationally backward districts of MP would be covered in two phases. In phase I, 19 such districts, including Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna and Satna are undertaken while in phase II, 15 additional districts, including Datia would be covered. The time frame for DPEP is between 1994 to 2001.

The programme (DPEP) quite unlike previous centrally sponsored initiatives, has evolved an integrated approach to primary education with programme assistance being channeled through state projects office to district level implementing agencies. A special attempt has been made to target educationally backward districts (defined especially by low female literacy) with strategies to ensure educational needs of women, SC. and STs and other weaker sections of the population. These features have earned DPEP the distinction of being the first experiment of its kind in the social development sector of the country, where decentralisation and community participation are being put into practice on a very large scale.

The mission in the last three years has contributed substantially to increase the reach and quality of primary education in the state. It has also sought to work through community structures so that education becomes a mass movement in the state. In 1994, when DPEP began in 19 districts there were 12476 unserved habitations.DPEP has provided schooling facilities in 10065 of these habitations.

1 Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) :

Under Rajiv Gandhi Mission, Govt. of M.P. took a pioneering initiative in the country to provide an educational centre on demand by people. Under the scheme whenever there is a demand from a tribal area from 25 children for a facility to learn and from 40 children for nontribal area and there is no school within one km., the govt. guarantees to provide a trained teacher within 90 days. The space for learning is provided by the community. Since the launching of the scheme on 1 January, 97, over 11579 centres have come up in the state. The progress in the concerned districts is as follows: (see Table )

2 Alternative schools(AS):

For those children who are unable to participate in formal schooling, special schooling facilities designated as Alternative Schools have been opened. These schools have flexibility of time and space using an innovative learning method adapted to learner pace.

3 Shishu Shiksha Kendra (SSK).

A nursery service was introduced as pre-school education to rural schools through which attention is given to 3-5 age group of children to inculcate in them appropriate habits of learning. It provides the opportunity to girls engaged in sibling care to attend regular primary school.

DPEP aims at strengthening the educational infrastructure. School buildings are constructed through community participation. Block Resource Centres (BRC) are constructed to facilitate teacher training at the block level. It also aims at improving the quality of primary education through developing a new competency-based curriculum, developing new teaching learning materials and empowering teachers through appropriate training. All these academic intervention aim at making learning a joyful process, motivating children to stay in schools and so minimise dropout. As a result of these initiatives, enrollment is supposed to step up in the schools. Overall work done in the concerned districts are as follows: (see table)

*Datia is not taken in DSPEP, Phase I
BRC= Block Resource Centre
AS = Alternative school
SSK= Shishu Shiksha Kendra
VEC= Village Education Committee
CRC= Cluster Resource Centre
NPS= New Primary Schools.

Given the social, cultural and economic diversity of the state, promoting community participation and mobilisation in primary education is a major challenge. To meet the challenge, the programme has concentrated in setting up an elaborate management structure extending from the state office to the Village Education Committee(VEC) at the village level. Mobilisation strategies to spread awareness about the programme, its objective and the importance of primary education in general have been devised and to a large extent a participatory approach has been initiated whereby local people have started playing an active role in enrollment, retention , learning environment and school improvements. The programme design of DPEP emphasises building and sustaining community support to

promote awareness generation campaigns, microplanning and village surveys through village institutions like VECs.

The study undertaken by Samarthan-Centre for Development Support- on the status of VECs in representative districts under DPEP, has found that though, VECs have a great role to play in the programme, they have not been constituted in the villages properly and participation of women is near absent except for a few cases. They need to be activated for desired results.

4 Total Literacy Campaigns (TLC):

Total Literacy Campaign projects are prepared by district level Zilla Saksharata Samiti’s and approved/sanctioned by the National Literacy Mission of the Govt. of India. These projects were sanctioned for all 45 districts of the state and govt. claims that around 35.40 lakh people, including 20 lakh women, have been made literate. The observation in the field might not approve of it but it seems true that Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission has energised TLC in MP. Out of 45 districts, 13 districts have gone for Post-Literacy Campaign Projects. From Bundelkhand region, Tikamgarh and Chhatarpur have got it sanctioned.

In Tikamgarh 2.19 lakh illiterates of age group 15-45 were to be covered under TLC, through its 22,000 literacy centres. According to Mr Gurbachan Singh, person incharge of TLC in Tikamgarh, the campaign in the district started late but it picked up well and results have been encouraging. In Aug 97, when internal evaluation took place, 58,000 neo-literates participated and 50000 passed it. During the campaign, various cultural groups and a large number of volunteers participated throughout the district. This has made it to qualify for postliteracy phase, alongwith district Chhatarpur.

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