The Union Budget, 2018-19, had proposed to treat school education without segmentation from pre-nursery to Class 12. Samagra Shiksha, an overarching programme which has integrated pre-school to class 12, has been prepared with the goal of improving school education effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes. Samagra Shiksha has subsumed three schemes — Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
According to the government, this sector-wide development programme/scheme would help harmonise the implementation mechanisms and transaction costs at all levels — state, district and sub-district.
The scheme envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to Senior Secondary levels. The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from pre-school to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Education.
The major objectives of the Scheme are provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students, bridging social and gender gaps in school education, ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education.
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The main outcomes of the Scheme are envisaged as Universal Access, Equity and Quality, promoting Vocationalisation of Education and strengthening of Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).
The Scheme will be implemented as a centrally-sponsored Scheme by the Department through a single State Implementation Society (SIS) at the State/UT level. At the National level, there would be a Governing Council headed by Minister of Human Resource Development and a Project Approval Board (PAB) headed by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy.
The Governing Council will be empowered to modify financial and programmatic norms and approve the detailed guidelines for implementation within the overall Framework of the scheme. Such modifications will include innovations and interventions to improve the quality of school education. The Department will be assisted by a Technical Support Group (TSG) at Educational Consultants of India Limited (EdCIL) to provide technical support in functional areas pertaining to access, equity and quality education by merging the TSGs of the Schemes of SSA, RMSA and TE. States would be expected to bring a single Plan for the entire school education sector.
The fund sharing pattern for the scheme between Centre and States is at present in the ratio of 90:10 for the 8 North-Eastern States — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and 3 Himalayan states — Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and 60:40 for all other states and Union Territories with Legislature. It is 100% percent centrally-sponsored for Union Territories without Legislature. This is in accordance with the recommendations of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes received in October, 2015.
The major interventions, across all levels of school education, proposed under the scheme are: (i) Universal Access including Infrastructure Development and Retention (ii) Gender and Equity; (iii) Inclusive Education; (iv) Quality; (v) Financial support for Teacher Salary; (vi) Digital initiatives; (vii) RTE Entitlements including uniforms, textbooks etc.;(viii) Pre-school Education; (ix) Vocational Education; (x) Sports and Physical Education; (xi) Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training; (xii) Monitoring; (xiii) Programme Management; and (xiii) National Component. It is proposed that preference in the interventions would be given to Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), LWEs affected districts, Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Border areas and the 115 Aspirational districts.