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Focus shifts to quality education

After the success of ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyan,’ the government now wants to focus on quality of elementary and secondary education, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2007 02:32 IST
Chetan Chauhan

After the success of ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyan,’ the government now wants to focus on quality of elementary and secondary education.

A plan to bring quality government schools on the pattern of Kendriya Vidhalaya and CBSE and improve overall education in the country, will be discussed at a Planning Commission meeting headed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next Tuesday.

The HRD ministry, in a survey, had found that about 73 per cent of the enrolled students in India don’t attend schools and more than half of upper primary school students cannot divide a three-digit figure with one digit. In states like Bihar, student absenteeism is as high as 60 per cent. Moreover, teacher absenteeism is about 20 per cent.

The ministry also says that dropout rate in elementary education has remained as high as 47 per cent. In primary level, the drop out rate has reduced from 39 per cent to 29 per cent in last decade, touted as major achievement by the government. Now, the Centre has decided to deal with these concerns and create a National Mission for Quality in Elementary Education, where in 6,000 new schools to be opened would be of the highest quality.

Under the programme, special focus on science and mathematics in upper primary level, introduction of English from class III, 100 per cent trained teachers by 2011-12 and cluster resource centre for every 10 schools and five resource teachers per block.

The government also wants to open new 500 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhalayas residential schools for girls with preference to minority concentration areas. In addition, basic infrastructure facilities will be improved in 90,000 schools, 6.87 new classrooms would be constructed and 8.86 lakh new teachers would be appointed in the next five years.

The Commission and HRD ministry has prepared a detailed plan of Rs 2.67 lakh crore for the next five years on improving overall education in the country.

It includes opening of new 30 universities, 370 colleges, seven IITs, eight IIMs and 20 IIITs in the next five years.