THE Ministry of Education launched in 2018 the revised Centrally-sponsored Scheme (CSS) of Integrated School Education, Samagra Shiksha, by subsuming erstwhile CSSs of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education.
It is an overarching programme extending from pre-school to Class XII and aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels with thrust on improving school infrastructure and learning outcomes. The scheme is in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4.1) and is now aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for ensuring quality and holistic school education.
The major objectives include supporting states/UTs in implementing recommendations of NEP 2020 and Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act 2009; focusing on Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) and Foundational Literacy & Numeracy; giving thrust to holistic, integrated, inclusive and activity-based curriculum and pedagogy to impart 21st century skills; providing quality education and enhancing learning outcomes; bridging social & gender Gaps; ensuring equity & inclusion; strengthening & upgradation of State Councils for Educational Research & Training (SCERTs) and District Institutes for Education & Training (DIET) as nodal agencies for teacher training; ensuring safe, secure and conducive learning environment and minimum standards in schooling provisions; and promoting vocational education.
Fund sharing pattern between Centre & States is 90:10 for Northeast and Himalayan states and 60:40 for other states and UTs with legislature, and 100 per cent for UTs without legislature. The Expenditure Finance Committee has approved a total outlay of Rs.2.94 lakh crore for five years (2021-22 to 2025-26). Major interventions include Universal Access including Infrastructure Development & Retention; Foundational Literacy & Numeracy; Gender & Equity; Inclusive Education; Quality & Innovation; Financial support for Teacher Salary; Digital initiatives; RTE entitlements including uniforms, textbooks etc; support for ECCE, Vocational Education, Sports & Physical Education; strengthening of Teacher Education & Training; monitoring & Programme Management; preference to Educationally Backward Blocks & Left wing extremism-affected districts, Special Focus Districts, Border Areas, and 117 Aspirational Districts.
The main emphasis is on improving quality of school education by focusing on Teacher & Technology and giving flexibility to States/UTs to prioritise their interventions within scheme norms and resource envelope. Funds are allocated on objective criteria of enrolment of students, committed liabilities, learning outcomes and performance indicators such as transition rates across levels.
Integration of teacher education would facilitate convergence between different support structures through interventions such as a unified training calendar, innovations in pedagogy, mentoring & monitoring, enabling of SCERTs as nodal agency for conducting and monitoring in-service training programmes.
The major achievements of Samagra Shiksha in School Infrastructure Development during 2018-2022 include upgrading 10,151 schools at Elementary, Secondary and Higher Secondary level; opening 76 new residential schools/ hostels; strengthening 79,431 schools including additional classrooms; covering 17,554 schools under ICT & Digital initiatives and 6370 schools under vocational education; upgrading 357 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) from Class VIII to Class X and 2010 KGBVs from class VIII to class XII; and constructing 26184 separate girls’ toilets.
Under erstwhile SSA (elementary schools) till 2017-18 and Samagra Shiksha effective from 2018-19, the major achievements include construction of 3.12 lakh school buildings, 18.83 lakh additional classrooms, 2.53 lakh drinking water facility, 4.15 lakh boys’ toilets, 5.33 lakh separate girls’ toilets, 1.56 lakh toilets for Children with Special Needs (CwSN) and 2.96 lakh ramps with hand rails.
Under erstwhile RMSA (secondary schools) till 2017-18 and Samagra Shiksha from 2018-19, the major achievements include construction of 12,403 school buildings, 53,420 additional classrooms, 30,432 integrated science labs, 20,441 computer rooms, 27,604 libraries, 32,434 Art/Craft/Culture rooms, 12,711 drinking water facilities, 35,242 boys’ toilets, 37,322 girls’ toilets’, 5,414 toilets for CwSN and 5,414 ramps.
Further, under Samagra Shiksha from 2018-19, new sanctions for senior secondary schools include 151 new/upgraded school buildings, 553 additional streams, 1,131 additional classrooms, 77 science labs, 983 physics labs, 955 chemistry labs, 953 biology labs, 81 computer rooms, 237 libraries and 195 Art/Craft/ Culture rooms.