INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-EASTERN REGION
Context: Education is in the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution and majority of the schools come under the jurisdiction of the respective States and Union Territory (UT) Government which is the appropriate Government under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
There are a number of initiatives taken by the Government of India for improving the quality in school education in the country including NE Region. Some of these initiatives are enlisted below:
- The Central rules to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 have been amended and class-wise, subject-wise Learning Outcomes have been shared with all States and Union Territories.
- The National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2017 was held on 13th November 2017 for assessing the competencies developed by the children at the grade levels III, V and VIII. Subsequently, a framework of intervention has been developed and shared with States to improve the quality of learning in the schools.
- The online D.El.Ed. course was started from 3rd October, 2017 and 56,125 teachers from NE Region have successfully completed the training.
- In order to provide e-learning material, different facilities like e- PATHSHALA, DIKSHA portal, SWAYAM (Study Webs to Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds), SWAYAM PRABHA DTH Channels have been made available by the Ministry.
- Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha launched in 2018-19, funds are given to all States and UTs for strengthening of infrastructure and provision of other facilities in schools to ensure that all schools meet the prescribed norms, training of in-service steachers, headmasters and principals, remedial teaching for academically weaker students, provision of library grants to schools, ICT and digital initiatives, strengthening of teacher education institutions, Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat, etc.
- An integrated Teacher Training Programme titled NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) has been launched to train around 3 lakh teachers and other functionaries in the NE States to make classrooms learner-friendly and improving children’s competencies.
- MHRD has designed a 70 indicators based matrix called Performance Grading Index (PGI) to grade the States and UTs.
OVERVIEW OF ALL THESE SCHEMES
- Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009: This Act enacted on 4 August 2009, describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between the age of 6 to 14 years in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
- e- PATHSHALA: The ePathshala, a joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has been developed for showcasing and disseminating all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals, and a variety of other digital resources.
- The ePathshala Mobile app is designed to achieve the SDG Goal no. 4 as well i.e. equitable, quality, inclusive education and lifelong learning for all and bridging the digital divide.
- DIKSHA portal: DIKSHA is a unique initiative of MHRD and National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) which leverages existing highly scalable and flexible digital infrastructures, while keeping teachers at the center.
- It is built considering the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time student teachers enroll in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire as teachers.
- DIKSHA will serve as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers.
- SWAYAM (Study Webs to Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds): SWAYAM is the indigenous platform of the MHRD, GOI which provides an integrated portal and platform for hosting Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) developed under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) (NME-ICT).
- SWAYAM PRABHA DTH Channels: The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels which are devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite.
- Every day, there will be new content for at least (4) hours which would be repeated 5 more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience.
- The channels are uplinked from BISAG, Gandhinagar.
- The contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS.
- The INFLIBNET Centre maintains the web portal.
- Samagra Shiksha Scheme: Samagra Shiksha – an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12 has been prepared with the broader goal of improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
- It subsumes the three erstwhile Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
- The Scheme will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme through a single State Implementation Society (SIS) at the State/UT level. At the National level, there would be a Governing Council headed by Minister of Human Resource Development and a Project Approval Board (PAB) headed by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy.
- The fund sharing pattern for the scheme between Centre and States is at present in the ratio of 90:10 for the 8 North-Eastern States viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and 3 Himalayan States viz. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and 60:40 for all other States and Union Territories with Legislature. It is 100% centrally sponsored for Union Territories without Legislature.
- NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement): It is an initiative to build capacities of teachers and school principals at the elementary stage.
- The initiative is an Integrated Teacher Training Programme of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of HRD as part of its National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha during 2019-20.
- Performance Grading Index (PGI): The Performance Grading Index (PGI) is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education in States and UTs including key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
- Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL) has designed the PGI to catalyse transformational change in the field of school education.
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