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Elementary Education (Education in India)

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Elementary Education (Education in India)
« on: April 18, 2008, 12:09:00 AM »

:: Elementary Education (Education in India)

Primary school in the remote Kanji village of the Kargil district.

During the eighth five-year plan, the target of "universalizing" elementary education was divided into three broad parameters: Universal Access, Universal Retention and Universal Achievement i.e., making education accessible to children, making sure that they continue education and finally, achieving goals. As a result of education programs, by the end of 2000, 94% of India's rural population had primary schools within one km and 84% had upper primary schools within 3 km. Special efforts were made to enroll SC/ST and girls. The enrollment in primary and upper-primary schools has gone up considerably since the first five-year plan. So has the number of primary and upper-primary schools. In 1950-51, only 3.1 million students had enrolled for primary education. In 1997-98, this figure was 39.5 million. The number of primary and upper-primary schools was 0.223 million in 1950-51. This figure was 0.775 million in 1996-97.

In 2002/2003, an estimated 82% of children in the age group of 6-14 were enrolled in school. The Government of India aims to increase this to 100% by the end of the decade. To achieve this the Government launched Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The strategies adopted by the Government to check drop-out rate are:

    * Creating parental awareness
    * Community mobilization
    * Economic incentives
    * Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL)
    * District Primary Education Programme (DPEP)
    * National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (Mid-day Meals Scheme)
    * The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed by the parliament to make the Right to Elementary Education a fundamental right and a fundamental duty.
    * National Elementary Education Mission
    * A National Committee of State Education Ministers has been set up with the Minister of Human Resource Development as the Chairperson of the committee.
    * Media publicity and advocacy plans.
    * Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which function is the SCERT campus

However, the poor infrastructure of schools has resulted in fairly high dropout rates. Thus, according to the DISE 2005-6 data 9.54% of the schools remain single classroom schools and 10.45% schools lack classrooms. The average teacher to pupil ratio for the country is 1:36, with significant variations to the upper end; 8.39% schools are single teacher schools; 5.30% schools have more than 100 children for each teacher; 30.87% schools lack female teachers. Only 10.73% schools have a computer.

While the education system has undoubtedly undergone significant progress, a lot still needs to be done to enhance the learning of children from scheduled caste (or Dalit) families, scheduled and primitive tribes and religious minorities. Girls' enrollment continues to lag behind that of boys.