THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: School education is set for a big change with the Centre introducing an integrated scheme to ensure quality learning at the pre-primary to higher secondary school levels. To provide a holistic approach to the basic education format, the Centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan has come into force in Kerala. The scheme is an upgraded version of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Human Resource Development sent a notification to all state Education Departments requesting them to implement the new system before the coming academic year. As per the notification, the upgraded scheme will subsume three Centrally sponsored schemes — SSA, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education.
The scheme envisages free and equitable secondary education with effective learning outcomes, irrespective of gender disparities, and vocational training for weaker sections, including persons with disabilities, by 2020. It has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020.
SSA project director A P Kuttykrishnan said the new scheme will enhance the quality of education by introducing smart classrooms and attractive syllabi for the mental growth of students. He said the new scheme will also help to concentrate the development of students from the pre-primary to secondary levels.
“SSA has been upgraded to Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, which is the advanced version in which all the school levels can be covered. The process is underway and a final decision in this regard is expected to be taken at a high-level meeting to be held in New Delhi in May,” he said.
“Unlike SSA, the new scheme helps students to improve their skills in academics. For instance, there will be special subjects such as Ganithavijayam to help students perform well in mathematics. Besides, special libraries and UGC-level syllabi will elevate our school education to international standards. IIT Kharagpur authorities have expressed interest in imparting training to students in summer camps from the next academic year.”
Vocational training will be introduced as an integral part of general education at the secondary and senior levels. Under the programme, there is a provision for arranging hands-on training in an industrial set-up and on-job training may be provided during vacations for 80 hours.However, the Centre has no plans to sanction a separate cadre of teachers for the project, sources said. The draft notification mentions that all teachers are ultimately the responsibility of the state government. Besides, the new scheme is applicable only to government schools.