What is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)? It is a flagship programme of the government of India, that was started in 2001, to achieve the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE). The legal backing to SSA was provided when free and compulsory education for the children in the age group of 6-14 was made a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution under Article 21 A. SSA aims to meet the expectations of this fundamental right in a time-bound manner. This article will provide you with relevant information about Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for the IAS Exam GS-II notes.
Get information about important government schemes in the linked article.
Important Facts about Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for UPSC
|Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Year of Launch||2001|
|Government Ministry||Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD)|
A few important facts about SSA are mentioned in the list below:
- SSA is termed as an ‘Education for All’ movement
- The pioneer of the SSA programme was Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Indian Former Prime Minister.
- The Central Government in partnership with State Governments is implementing this initiative.
- The initial aim of SSA was to meet its objectives by 2010, however, the timeline has been extended.
- SSA aims to provide educational infrastructure to around 193 million children in 1.1 million habitations.
- 86th Amendment Act to the Indian Constitution provided legal backing to SSA when it made education free and compulsory for children in the age group of 6-14.
- New Education Policy 2020 aims to bring about two crores out of school children into the mainstream.
- In the National Education Policy of 2019, it was mentioned that an estimated 6.2 crore children of school age (between 6 and 18 years) were out of school in 2015.
- Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat is a sub-programme of SSA.
- There is a government portal under the name ‘Shagun’ that has been launched to monitor the SSA programme. The World Bank in association with the Ministry of HRD developed it.
Aspirants reading about ‘SSA’ can also refer to the similar topics linked in the table below:
|Samagra Shiksha Scheme (SSS)||Right to Education Act (RTE)|
|Fundamental Rights of Indian Citizens||Important Articles of the Indian Constitution|
|Important Amendments in the Indian Constitution||Fundamental Duties|
Objectives of SSA
After the passage of the Right To Education Act, 2010, SSA takes a holistic approach in meeting its objectives. The objectives seek to bring a positive impact on curriculum, teacher education, educational planning, and management. The broad objectives of SSA are mentioned below:
- To open new schools in those habitations where there are no schooling facilities
- To strengthen the existing school infrastructure
- To provide alternate schooling facilities
- To construct new schools
- To add additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water facilities in the schools
- To maintain school improvement grants
- To provide free textbooks, uniforms to the children
- To increase the strength of teachers in the schools where there is a shortage of teachers. Additional teachers are provided to such schools
- To enhance and strengthen the skills and capacity of the existing teachers in the schools through:
- Extensive Training
- Materials of teachers-learning are developed by maintaining the grants
- Academic support structure at a cluster, block, and district level are being strengthened
- To provide life skills to the students along with quality education
- To promote girls’ education (to bring a change in the status of women, being the wider aim) and also the education of the differently-abled or children with special needs. Also, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development mentions that SSA seeks to bring equal opportunity in education to children of people belonging to:
- Muslim Minority
- Landless Agricultural Labourers, etc
- To understand the educational needs of traditionally excluded categories
- SSA also seeks to bridge the digital divide by offering computer education to children
- Main areas of focus under Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) are:
- universal access
- universal enrolment
- universal retention
- quality elementary education to all children
Before 2010, the time-bound aims of SSA were:
- All children to complete five years of elementary schooling by 2007
- All children complete eight years of schooling by 2010
- Bridge the gender and social category gaps at primary schooling stage by 2007 and elementary education level by 2010
SSA and District Primary Education Programme (DPEP)
The District Primary Education Programme was launched in 1994 as a centrally-sponsored scheme to revitalize the primary education system. It was the first programme that aimed to universalize elementary education. DPEP had an area-specific approach with a district as a unit of planning.
Some important points about DPEP are:
- 85 percent of the project cost was aided by the Central Government and 15 percent by the concerned State Government.
- This program covered 18 states
- International Organisations like the World Bank, UNICEF, etc, assisted the Central Government externally.
SSA – Universalization of Elementary Education
The cause of UEE has been backed up in the Constitution of India through the following:
|Constitutional Mandate of 1950||It mentioned that the State should provide free and compulsory education to all children until they attain 14 years of age.
Note: The mandate mentioned that the State should endeavour to do this within ten years of the commencement of the Indian Constitution
|National Education Policy, 1986||The policy mentioned the universal retention of the children in schools until they attain 14 years of age.
It also mentioned a resolve that children up to the age of 14 should be given free and compulsory education of satisfactory quality before India reaches the 21st Century.
The table below mentions the initiatives are taken up under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan :
|Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat||Aim – To improve the reading and writing skills of Class I and Class II children, and their mathematics skills.
It has a twin-track approach:
|Shagun Portal||To monitor the progress of SSA, it was launched in 2017.|
|Shaala – Siddhi||School Standard Evaluation Programme (Shaala – Siddhi) is an initiative which aids to achieve the goals of SSA.|
|Swachh Vidyalaya||National Campaign – Clean India: Clean Schools
Aim – To ensure that every school in India has a set of functioning and well maintained water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
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