Efforts to Bring Back Children to Schools
(Judicial Quest News Network)
The Department of School Education and Literacy with effect from 2018-19 has launched an Integrated Centrally Sponsored Scheme for School Education- Samagra Shiksha. The scheme has now been aligned with the recommendations of NEP 2020 to ensure that all children have access to quality education with an equitable and inclusive classroom environment which should take care of their diverse background, multilingual needs, different academic abilities and make them active participants in the learning process.
Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to States and UTs for undertaking various activities to reduce number of Out of School Children (OoSC) including opening/strengthening of new schools upto senior secondary level, construction of school buildings & additional classrooms, setting up, up-gradation and running of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, setting up of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Avasiya Vidyalayas, free uniforms, free text books, transport allowance and undertaking enrolment & retention drives. Further, special training for age appropriate admission of out of school children and residential as well as non-residential training for older children, seasonal hostels / residential camps, special training centres at worksites, transport/ escort facility are also supported to bring out of school children to the formal schooling system. Further, under the student oriented component for the children with special needs, financial assistance is provided for identification and assessment of children with special needs, aids and appliances, braille kits and books, appropriate teaching learning material and stipend to girl students with disability etc.
Further, for the first time in 2021-22, financial assistance upto Rs. 2000 per annum has been envisioned for supporting Out of School Children of age group of 16-19 years, belonging to socio economically disadvantaged groups, for completing their education through NIOS/SIOS, for accessing course materials and certification.
Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman’ (PM POSHAN) one hot cooked meal in Government and Government aided schools is provided to students at the elementary level of education.
Also, Section 10 of the RTE Act states that it shall be the duty of every parent or guardian to admit or cause to be admitted his or her child or ward, as the case may be, for elementary education in the neighbourhood school.
Also, under National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme scholarship is awarded to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue the study at secondary stage.
The Department of School Education and Literacy launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA. NISHTHA 3.0 for teachers teaching at foundational level has been initiated with focus on foundational literacy and numeracy, it comprises of 12 Modules which includes Toy Based Pedagogy.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.