The Union Budget of 2018-19 proposed to treat school education holistically without segmentation from pre-nursery to Class 12. In this context, the Union Ministry of Education launched the “Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan” in 2018 as an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12. It aims at improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan subsumes three Schemes, which are:
The Samagra Shiksha Scheme covers 1.16 million schools, over 156 million students and 5.7 million teachers of Government and Aided schools (from pre-primary to senior secondary level).
The scheme envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from Pre-school, Primary, Upper Primary, Secondary to Senior Secondary levels.
The scheme will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The fund-sharing pattern for the scheme between the Centre and State is 60:40 for general category States and Union Territories with Legislature, meaning the Central government contributes 60% of the funds while the State governments put in 40% of the funds. However, for the Special category States, the amount of the Central Government funding will be in the ratio of 90:10. It is 100% centrally sponsored for the Union Territories without Legislature.
Major objectives of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan aims to deliver inclusive, equitable, and affordable school education. The major objectives of the Scheme are as follows:
- Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students.
- Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education.
- Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in school education.
- Ensuring minimum standards in schooling provisions.
- Promoting vocationalisation of education.
- Support States in the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act of 2009.
- Strengthening and degradation of State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), State Institutes of Education and District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) as nodal agencies for teacher training.
Major Interventions under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
The major interventions, across all levels of school education, proposed under the scheme are as follows:
- Universal Access, including infrastructure development and retention.
- Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
- Gender and Equity.
- Inclusive Education
- Quality and Innovation.
- Financial support for Teacher salary.
- Digital initiatives.
- RTE entitlements, including uniforms, textbooks, etc.
- Pre-School Education.
- Vocational Education.
- Sports and Physical Education.
- Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training.
- Programme Management.
- National Component.
Major features of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
A holistic approach to education
- Treat the school education holistically as a continuum from Pre-school to Class 12.
- Inclusion of pre-school levels and senior secondary levels in supporting school education for the first time.
Focus on the quality of education
- Emphasis on improving quality of education by focusing on Two T’s – Teachers and Technology.
- Enhanced capacity building of teachers and school Heads.
- Focus on strengthening Teacher Education Institutions, such as SCERTs and DIETs, to improve the quality of prospective teachers in the system.
- State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) to be the nodal institution for in-service and pre-service teacher training. It will make training dynamic and need-based.
- Support for Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat Programme to develop foundational skills at the primary level.
- Support for Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan to promote science and math learning in schools.
- Provision for library grants for every school ranging from ₹5000 to ₹20000.
- Flexibility for States to prioritise their interventions under the Scheme.
- Single and unified administrative structure leading to harmonized implementation.
Focus on Digital Education
- Support “Operation Digital Board” in all secondary schools over 5 years. The technology-based learning classrooms will become flipped classrooms and revolutionize education as easy to understand.
- Enhanced use of digital technology in education through smart classrooms, digital boards and DTH channels.
- Strengthening Digital initiatives, such as UDISE+, Shagun.
- Strengthening of ICT infrastructure in schools for upper primary to higher secondary level.
Focus on Girl Education
- Upgradation of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) from Class 6-8 to Class 6-12.
- Providing self-defence training for girls from upper primary to the senior secondary stage.
- Enhanced commitment to ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘.
Strengthening of Schools
- Improved transport facility to children across all classes from 1 to 8 for universal access to school.
- Specific provision for Swachhta (cleanliness) activities by supporting ‘Swachh Vidyalaya‘.
- Composite school grants increased from ₹14,500-50,000 to ₹25,000-1 Lakh. These grants are to be allocated based on school enrollment.
- Improve the quality of infrastructure in government schools.
Focus on inclusion
- Allocation for textbooks under the Right to Education (RTE) Act increased from ₹150/250 to ₹250/400 per child per annum.
- Allocation for uniforms under the RTE Act increased from ₹400 to ₹600 per child per annum.
- Allocation for Children with Special Needs (CwSN) increased from ₹3000 to ₹3500 per child per annum.
- A stipend of ₹200 per month for Girls with Special Needs from Classes 1 to 12.
Focus on Skill Development
- Exposure to the vocational skills at the Upper Primary Level would be extended.
- Integration of vocational education for Classes 9-12 with the curriculum. Vocational education is to be made more practical and industry-oriented.
- Emphasis on ‘Kaushal Vikas‘.
Focus on Sports and Physical Education
- Sports education is to be an integral part of the curriculum.
- Every school will receive sports equipment at the cost of ₹5000 for Primary Schools, ₹10,000 for Upper Primary Schools, and up to ₹25,000 for Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools.
Focus on Regional Balance
- Promote Balanced Educational Development.
- Preference for Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), Special Focus Districts (SFDs), LWE affected districts, Border areas and 117 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan 2.0
In 2021, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the school education programme ‘Samagra Shiksha Scheme 2.0‘ till 31 March 2026. The scheme has been upgraded to align it with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Education and the newly launched National Education Policy 2020.
New Features of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan 2.0
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
- To enhance the direct outreach of the Scheme, all the monetary benefits under this scheme focused on child development will be provided directly to the students through the DBT mechanism on an IT-based platform.
- The DBT will also include the Right to Education (RTE) entitlements such as textbooks, uniforms and transport allowances.
NEP 2020 recommendations
- Keeping with the NEP 2020 recommendation to encourage Indian languages, the scheme has a new component for the appointment of language teachers, which includes salaries and training costs. It also includes bilingual books and teaching-learning material.
- The scheme will now include the funding to support the pre-primary classes at government schools by providing them monetary benefits for teaching materials, indigenous toys and other child growth activities.
- Master trainers for pre-primary teachers and Anganwadi workers will be supported under this scheme.
NIPUN Bharat Initiative
- “NIPUN Bharat“, a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, has been launched under this scheme to ensure that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy at the end of grade III and not later than grade V.
- Under this initiative, an annual provision of ₹500 per child for learning materials, ₹150 per teacher for manuals and resources, and ₹10-20 lakh per district for assessment.
- There is a provision for ICT labs and smart classrooms, including support for digital boards, virtual classrooms, and DTH channels.
Support out-of-school children
- This scheme includes a provision to support out-of-school children from the age of 16 to 19 years with the funding of ₹2000 per grade to complete their education via open schooling.
- There will also be great emphasis on skills and vocational education, both for students in schools and dropouts.
- Financial support for State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, @ ₹50 per elementary school in the State, for the protection of child rights and safety.
- Holistic, 360-degree, multi-dimensional reports showing the progress/uniqueness of each learner in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains will be introduced in the form of a Holistic Progress Card (HPC).
- Support for activities of PARAKH, a national assessment centre (Performance, Assessments, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
- Additional Sports grants of up to ₹25000 to schools in case of at least 2 students of that school win a medal in ‘Khelo India‘ school games at the National level.
- Provision for Bagless days, school complexes, internships with local artisans, curriculum and pedagogical reforms, etc., included.
- Support for Social Audit, covering 20% of schools per year so that all schools are covered in a period of five years.