THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The inordinate delay in releasing the remaining fund allotted by the Centre to implement Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) has put the project in a dock. Earlier, the Union Government had allotted Rs 740 crore to the SSA for its implementation.
However, the Centre has given only the first ad-hoc instalment of Rs 65 crore. The fund has been allotted following a project report submitted by the SSA Kerala. According to AP Kuttykrishnan, SSA, state project director, though the Centre has announced two instalments of R47 and R21 crore each, the funds are yet to be released.
“As per rules, we need to get at least 60 per cent of the fund from the allotted amount,” Kuttykrishnan told Express. However, they gave R65 crore so far and are yet to release two instalments. The further delay will affect the smooth implementation of the project.”
The project was to start in July. In May, a Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting comprising all state-level project directors was convened at New Delhi to discuss the funds needed for implementing the project. Following this, the Union Government gave its approval. But the delay in releasing the fund has resulted in the project getting stalled.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is 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 Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan was proposed in the country. The scheme is an upgraded version of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Five months ago, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had sent a notification to all state Education Departments requesting them to implement the new system before the coming academic year. 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. It was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, SSA Kerala prepared a master plan for the effective functioning of pre-school education. It is for the first time a government agency is considering the pre-school sector. The plan will be implemented in 420 schools in the state in the first phase as part of strengthening pre-school education.