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Third Elementary Education Project: SSA-III PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 April 2014 12:17

Project Background and Description

I. Background

The role of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) for strengthening the social fabric of democracy through provision of equal opportunities to all has been accepted since the inception of India as a Republic. The original Article 45 in the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution mandated the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to age fourteen in a period of ten years. With the formulation of National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986/92, India initiated a wide range of programs for achieving the goal of UEE. These efforts were intensified in the 1980s and 1990s through several schematic and program interventions, such as Operation Black Board (OBB), Shiksha Karmi Project (SKP), Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project (APPEP), Bihar Education Project (BEP), U.P Basic Education Project (UPBEP), Mahila Samakhya (MS), Lok Jumbish Project (LJP), and Teacher Education which put in place a decentralized system of teacher support through District Institutes of Education and Training, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP). Currently the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in partnership with State Governments for universalizing elementary education across the country.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is India’s main program for universalizing elementary education. Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education and enhancement of learning levels of children. SSA provides for a variety of interventions, including inter alia, opening of new schools and alternate schooling facilities, construction of schools and additional classrooms, toilets and drinking water, provisioning for teachers, periodic teacher training and academic resource support, text books and support for learning achievement.

India passed its Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which became effective from April 2010, and gave effect to Article 21-A (Eighty-sixth Amendment of the Indian Constitution, 2002) making the provision of free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of 6-14 years one of the Fundamental Rights. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. The need to address inadequacies in retention, residual access, particularly of un-reached children, and the questions of quality are the most compelling reasons for the insertion of Article 21-A in the Constitution of India and the passage of the RTE Act, 2009.

SSA has been designated as the implementation vehicle for RTE. The various provisions, including those pertaining to physical infrastructure and related facilities are to be aligned with the legally mandated norms and standards and free entitlements mandated by the RTE Act.

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