Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) — the government’s flagship programme to enroll all children in the age group of 6-14 in schools — suffers from inadequacies ranging from misuse of funds to ineffective monitoring both at the national and state levels, the CAG has said.
“SSA, which is a significant initiative to bring back all the children in the targeted age group to schools, has achieved the targets only partially so far,” the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in a report.
The programme, planned to be taken up earnestly by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry for achieving its rather ambitious targets, required enormous funding and serious commitment on the part of implementing agencies including state governments, said the report presented in the Parliament this week said.
Noting that there was substantial under-funding, the CAG said it ranged between 43 and 57 per cent during 2001-02 to 2004-05. Even four years after the implementation of the scheme and utilisation of almost 86 per cent of the funds available with implementing agencies, the revised target of SSA to enroll all children in schools by 2005 was not achieved, it pointed out.
Interventions by the project implementing agencies were deficient to a large extent, leading to substantial gaps between planned and actual achievements in key areas such as classrooms, textbook distribution, provision of teachers, their training and other infrastructure.
All this had affected the quality of education and coverage, the report further added.