COVERAGE OF SPECIAL FOCUS GROUPS
EDUCATION FOR GIRLS, SCHEDULED CASTE AND TRIBAL CHILDREN
Education of girls, especially those belonging to the scheduled
castes and scheduled tribes, is the primary focus in Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan. Efforts will be made to mainstream gender
concerns in all the activities under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
programme. Mobilization at the habitation/village/urban slum
level, recruitment of teachers, upgradation of primary into
upper primary schools, incentives like midday meals, uniforms,
scholarships, educational provision like textbooks and
stationery, will all take into account the gender focus. Every
activity under the programme will be judged in terms of its
gender component. Besides mainstreaming, special efforts like
the Mahila Samakhya type of mobilization and organization,
back-to school camps for adolescent girls, large-scale process
based constitution of Mahila Samoohs, will also be attempted.
The selection criteria takes into account the low female
literacy among the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan recognizes the need for special
efforts to bring the out-of-school girls, especially from
disadvantaged sections, to school. This would require a proper
identification of girls who are out of school in the course of
microplanning. It also calls for involving women through
participatory processes in the effective management of schools.
Experiences across the states under Mahila Samakhya and under
the District Primary Education Programme have suggested the need
for a clear perspective on women's issues. The provision for
girls' education would have to be situated in the local contexts
and interventions designed to suit the specific community needs
in this regard. Special interventions need to be designed to
address learning needs of girls and relating education to their
life. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is committed to making these
LESSONS FROM PAST PROGRAMMES LIKE DPEP AND LOK JUMBISH
The conduct of various previous programmes in the field of
elementary education, like DPEP and Lok Jumbish, have thrown up
interesting and successful lessons on gender intervention for
improvement in access, enrolment, retention and achievement of
girls. Some of these, which can be adopted by the states in SSA,
are as follows:
Access and Enrolment
Regular enrolment drives conducted in Andhra Pradesh. The Gender
gap comes down to below 5%.
Conducting special camps and bridge courses for girls to
Setting up special models of Alternate Schools exclusively for
girls - angana vidyalayas, bal vidyalaya, bal shalas, Sahaj
Shiksha Kendras, AS cum ECE centres.
Providing formal schooling facilities in centres of religious
instruction viz., Maktabs and Madarsas.
Intensive mobilisation efforts among the resistant groups.
Working in close collaboration with the community in identified
Using women's groups (both formed under the programme and those
already existing), VECs, MTA, to follow up issues for girls'
Monitoring attendance has been high on the agenda in all states
where micro initiatives for girls' education have been taken up.
Community involvement is high in this process, particularly in
mobilizing parents for regular attendance of their children
Follow up of drop out girls to bring them back to school either
through camps or bridge courses.
Organizing retention drives to put regular pressure on parents
and the school system to ensure retention of girls. These are
not one time drives but are organised at regular intervals to
sustain the pressure and take up corrective measures as may be
In pockets identified for intensive activities, attendance of
each child is monitored to prevent dropouts.
It is proposed to publically felicitate the children with good
attendance records at local level functions. This has not only
enthused the children further, but has also instilled a sense of
commitment and responsibility among parents and guardians.
Special coaching classes/remedial classes for SC girls.
Creation of a congenial learning environment for girls in the
classroom where they are given the opportunity to learn. This is
being done through special inputs to teachers -either in
selected pockets or across the programme districts
Remedial classes being organised by VEC/MTA members for girls
who are not faring too well at school
Improved classroom environment to provide equitable learning
opportunities to girls. Most interventions have been through
teacher sensitisation programmes. There are examples of States
that have tried to address the issue of providing congenial
learning environment of girls in the schools/classrooms although
the approaches have been varied.
Planning and Implementation
States have been sensitized on the use of available data for
local level planning for girls' education with community
Field-based trainings have been conducted in Andhra Pradesh to
have focused interventions.
EDUCATION OF SC/ST CHILDREN
The educational development of children belonging to the
Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes is a special focus in the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Every activity under the Project must
identify the benefit that will accrue to children from these
communities. Many of the incentive schemes will have a sharper
focus on children from these communities. The participation of
dalits and tribals in the affairs of the school will be
specially encouraged to ensure ownership of the Abhiyan by all
social groups, especially the most disadvantaged.
The interventions for children belonging to SC/ST communities
have to be based on the intensive microplanning addressing the
needs of every child. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan provides
flexibility to local units to develop a context specific
intervention. Some interventions could be as follows:
engagement of community organisers from SC/ST communities with a
focus on schooling needs of children from specific households
special teaching support as per need
ensuring sense of ownership of school committees by SC/ST
training programmes for motivation for schooling
setting up alternative schooling facilities in unserved
habitations and for other out of school children
using community teachers
monitoring attendance and retention of children from weaker
providing context specific intervention in the form of a hostel,
an incentive or a special facility as required.
involving community leaders in school management
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will develop context specific
interventions, over and above the mainstreamed interventions, to
tackle the problems in girls' education. All successful
interventions so far will serve as the guiding principle for
preparing such interventions. The provision of expenditure up to
Rupees 15 lakhs per year given in the norms can be used for
taking up innovative interventions relating to SC/ST under the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
INTERVENTIONS IN TRIBAL AREAS
The problems faced by children in the tribal areas are often
different than that faced by children belonging to Scheduled
Castes. Hence, special interventions may be needed for such
regions. Some of the interventions, which can be considered,
Textbooks in mother tongue for children at the beginning of
Primary education where they do not understand regional
Bridge Language Inventory for use of teachers.
Aganwadis and Balwadis or crèches in each school in tribal areas
so that the girls are not required to do baby-sitting.
Special training for non-tribal teachers to work in tribal
areas, including knowledge of tribal dialect.
PROVISION UNDER SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN
All the interventions listed above can be undertaken in the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The following provisions have been made
for girls' and education of SC/ST children:
Interventions for Early Childhood Care and Education
School/EGS like alternative facility to be set up within one
kilometer of all habitations.
Up-gradation of EGS to regular schools
Special mainstreaming camps for out-of-school girls/ SC/ST
children under the Alternative and Innovative Education
Mahila Samakhya like interventions from the innovation fund.
Provision of process-based community participation with a focus
on the participation of women and SC/ST
Provision of context specific innovative intervention for girls'
education and education of SC/ST children - upto Rs. 15 lakh per
intervention per year and up to Rs. 50 lakh in a district in a
particular year. The innovative programmes can include:
Enrolment and retention drives.
Special camps and bridge courses.
Setting up special models of Alternative Schools.
Strengthening of madarsas and maktabs for formal education to
Community mobilisation including setting up new working groups
and working with
existing working groups.
Providing a congenial learning environment inside and outside
Training programme for community leaders to develop capacities
for school management.
Setting up of Block and Cluster Resource Centres for effective
Free textbooks to all girls/SC/ST children up to Class-VIII.
Mid-day-meal programme to continue as at present.
Incentives like uniforms and scholarships to be funded from
State Plan only.
Adequate Teaching Learning Equipment for all Primary and Upper
At least 50 % of the teachers to be appointed have to be women.
school and teacher grants for all teachers.
20-day in-service training each year for all teachers
all children with Special needs
community-based monitoring, partnership with research and
resource institutions, and periodic feedback on interventions
INTERVENTIONS FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
SSA will ensure that every child with special needs,
irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability, is
provided education in an appropriate environment. SSA will
adopt ‘zero rejection’ policy so that no child is left out of
the education system.
Approaches and Options:
The thrust of SSA will be on providing integrated and inclusive
education to all children with special needs in general
schools. It will also support a wide range of approaches,
options and strategies for education of children with special
needs. This includes education through open learning system and
open schools, non formal and alternative schooling, distance
education and learning, special schools, wherever necessary,
home based education, itinerant teacher model, remedial
teaching, part time classes, community based rehabilitations (CBR)
and vocational education and cooperative programmes.
Components: The following activities could form components of
detection and identification: A concerted drive to detect
children with special needs at an early age should be undertaken
through PHCs, ICDS, ECCE centres and other school readiness
programmes. Identification of children with special needs should
become an integral part of the micro-planning and household
Functional and formal assessment of each identified child should
be carried out. A team should be constituted at every block to
carry out this assessment and recommend most appropriate
placement for every child with special needs.
Educational Placement: As far as possible, every child with
special needs should be placed in regular schools, with needed
and appliances: All children requiring assistive devices should
be provided with aids and appliances, obtained as far as
possible through convergence with the Ministry of Social Justice
and Empowerment, State Welfare Departments, National
Institutions or NGOs.
services: Support services like physical access, resource rooms
at cluster level, special equipment, reading material, special
educational techniques, remedial teaching, curricular adaptation
or adapted teaching strategies could be provided.
training: Intensive teacher training should be undertaken to
sensitize regular teachers on effective classroom management of
children with special needs. This training should be recurrent
at block/cluster levels and integrated with the on-going
in-service teacher training schedules in SSA. All training
modules at SCERT, DIET and BRC level should include a suitable
component on education of children with special needs.
Resource support: Resource support could be given by teachers
working in special schools. Where necessary, specially trained
resource teachers should be appointed, particularly for teaching
special skills to children with special needs. Wherever this
option is not feasible, long term training of regular teachers
should be undertaken.
Educational Plan (IEP): An IEP should be prepared by the teacher
for every child with special needs in consultation with parents
and experts. Its implementation should be monitored from time
to time. The programme should test the effectiveness of various
strategies and models by measuring the learning achievement of
children with special needs periodically, after developing
training and community mobilization: Parents of children with
disabilities should receive counselling and training on how to
bring them up and teach them basic survival skills. Strong
advocacy and awareness programmes should form a part of strategy
to educate every child with special needs. A component on
disability should be included in all the modules for parents,
VEC and community.
and management: Resource groups should be constituted at state,
district levels to undertake effective planning and management
of the programmes in collaboration with PRIs and NGOs. An apex
level resource group at the national level to provide guidance,
technical and academic support to children with special needs
under SSA may be constituted.
Strengthening of special schools: Wherever necessary, special
schools may be strengthened to obtain their resource support, in
convergence with departments and agencies working in that area.
Removal of Architectural barriers: Architectural barriers in
schools will be removed for easy access. Efforts will be taken
to provide disable-friendly facilities in schools and
educational institutions. Development of innovative designs for
schools to provide an enabling environment for children with
special needs should also be a part of the programme.
Research: SSA will encourage research in all areas of education
of children with special needs including research for designing
and developing new assistive devices, teaching aids, special
teaching material and other items necessary to give a child with
disability equal opportunities in education.
Monitoring and evaluation: On-going monitoring and evaluation
should be carried out to refine the programme from time to
time. For this, appropriate monitoring mechanisms should be
devised at every level and field tested at regular intervals.
Girls with disabilities: Special emphasis must be given to
education of girls with disabilities.
All activities, interventions and approaches in the area of
education for children with special needs will be implemented in
convergence with existing scheme like Assistance to Disabled
Persons for purchase/fittings of Aids/Appliances (ADIP),
Integrated Education of the Disabled Children (IEDC) and in
coordination with the Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment, State Department of Welfare, National Institutions
Expenditure upto Rs. 1200 per disabled child could be incurred
in a financial year to meet the special learning needs of such
children. The ceiling on expenditure per disabled child will
apply at the district level.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION
Realising the crucial importance of rapid physical and mental
growth during early childhood, a number of programmes of ECCE
were started particularly after the National Policy for Children
(1974). The existing ECCE programmes include:
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
Scheme of assistance to voluntary organisations for conducting
Early Childhood Education
ECEs and day-care centres run by voluntary agencies with
Pre-primary schools run by the State Governments, Municipal
Corporations and other
governmental and non-government agencies.
Maternal and child health services through primary health
centres and sub-centres and other
The National Policy of Education (NPE) has given great deal of
importance to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). It
views ECCE as a crucial input in the strategy of human resource
development, as a feeder and support programme for primary
education and as a support service for working women of the
disadvantaged sections of society. It has also taken into
account the holistic nature of ECCE and has pointed out the need
for early care and stimulation of children belonging to the
vulnerable sector. Since the age span covered under ECCE is
from conception to 6 years, emphasis has been given to a
child-centered approach, play-way and activity-based learning in
place of formal methods of teaching and early introduction of
the three R's. The importance of community involvement has also
been highlighted. Emphasis has been given to establishing
linkages between Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
and other ECCE programmes.
The Revised Policy Formulation reiterates the postulates of NPE,
1986 on ECCE. The prescriptions of POA, 1986 continue to be of
relevance. What is attempted here is to update the POA, 1986
taking into account the developments since then and the need to
strengthen the programmes by, inter-alia, improving the
programme components, co-ordination mechanism and enlisting
community participation in mobilising resources, planning and
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan realizes the importance of pre-school
learning and early childhood care and its role in improving
participation of children in schools. In order to facilitate a
greater convergence with the Integrated Child Development
Services, efforts to strengthen them in the area of pre-school
education will be made. Specific support will be available to
existing ICDS centres.
In habitations not covered by the ICDS and wherever the State
government is desirous of starting a pre-school education centre
in the formal primary school, support from the Sarva Shiksha
Abhiyan could be accessed. In case of a new ICDS centre coming
in such a habitation, the pre-school facility will necessarily
have to work in conjunction with the ICDS.
A provision of up to Rupees fifteen lakhs per year in a district
for any innovative intervention including for Early Childhood
Care and Education has been made. The District Elementary
Education Plan has to have a Plan for Early Childhood Care and
Education. It also has to list the facility already created
under the ICDS. The supplementary support for ECCE will always
be in conjunction with the ICDS. Provision of honoraria for
pre-school teacher, training of Aanganwadi Sevikas for
Pre-school learning, activity materials, play items, etc., could
be provided as support for ECCE.
Recognizing the continuum of learning and development, Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan would make all efforts to develop an integrated
approach to meet the educational needs of the pre-schoolers.
Some illustrative interventions could be as follows:
Strengthening pre-school component in ICDS by need-based
training of aanganwadi worker, provision of additional person,
learning materials etc.
Setting up ECEs as pre-school centres in uncovered areas.
Generating awareness on importance of early child development
through advocacy programmes.
Organising training programmes for community leaders.
Providing for intensive planning for ECCE.
Development of materials for ECCE related activities.
Promoting convergence between the school system and the ECCE
STRATEGIES FOR OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDREN: EDUCATION GUARANTEE
SCHOOLS IN UNSERVED HABITATIONS AND ALTERNATIVE AND INNOVATIVE
EDUCATION FOR OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN INCLUDING CHILDREN IN
The Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative
Education scheme is a part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
framework. Guidelines issued separately under the EGS & AIE
shall apply. The management structure for implementation of EGS
& AIE will be incorporated in the management structure of the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Planning, appraisal and supervision
processes will also be the same.
The new scheme makes provision for diversified strategies and
has flexible financial parameters. It has provided a range of
options, such as EGS, Residential bridge camps, etc. There are
four broad focus areas:
Full time community schools for small unserved habitations
Mainstreaming of children through bridge courses of different
Specific strategies for special groups like child labour, street
children, adolescent girls, girls
belonging to certain backward communities, children of migrating
Innovative programmes - the innovations can be in the areas of
curriculum, programme management, textbooks and TLMs, etc.
All habitations not having a primary school within one kilometre
and having a minimum of school age children, will be entitled to
have an EGS type school. Children who have dropped out-of-school
will have an opportunity to avail of bridge courses, aimed at
their mainstreaming. The objective is to see the EGS and AIE as
integral to the quest of UEE. The linkages with CRC/BRC/DIET/SCERT
will be required for EGS and AIE.
URBAN DEPRIVED CHILDREN
There is an urgent need to focus on the educational needs of
deprived children in urban areas. Recent studies indicate the
growing problem of schooling of poor children in urban areas. On
account of different administrative arrangements for the
management of schools in the urban areas, often a number of
initiatives for UEE do not reach the urban area schools. Some
significant efforts have been made by NGOs like Pratham in
Mumbai in partnership with the Municipal Corporation and the
City Level Plan of Action in Calcutta. The Municipal Corporation
of larger cities will be considered as "district" for purposes
of preparation of Elementary Education Plans. The arrangements
for decentralized management will also apply to these proposals.
These proposals can be developed by Municipal Corporations and
the State government will have to recommend these for funding
under SSA, clearly specifying wherefrom the State share will be
provided. All norms of SSA will apply to urban areas. Besides
Ward, Urban Slum clusters will be unit of planning in such
Urban areas have special problems like the education of street
children, the education of children who are rag pickers,
children whose parents are engaged in professions that makes
children's education difficult, education of children living in
urban working class slums, children who are working in industry,
children working in households, children at tea shops, etc. A
diversity of approaches is required to tackle the educational
problems in urban areas. On account of separate administrative
arrangements of schools in the urban areas, there is a need to
coordinate and converge interventions across Departments and
local bodies responsible for elementary education in urban
This calls for a provision of planning distinctively for the
urban areas either as separate plans or as part of District
Plans in the case of smaller towns. In either case, this would
require partnership with NGOs, Municipal bodies, etc.