Coverage of Special Focus Groups
COVERAGE OF SPECIAL FOCUS GROUPS
1 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 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES
1.1 The Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education scheme is a part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan framework. Guidelines issued separately under the Handbook of 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.
1.1.1 The new scheme makes provision for diversified strategies and has flexible financial parameters. It has provided a range of options, such as EGS, Back to School Camps, Balika Shivirs, etc. There are four broad focus areas:
(i) Full time community schools for small unserved habitations
(ii) Mainstreaming of children through bridge courses of different duration
(iii) Specific strategies for special groups like child labour, street children, adolescent girls, girls belonging to certain backward communities, children of migrating families, etc.
(iv) Innovative programmes - the innovations can be in the areas of pedagogic practices, curriculum, programme management, textbooks and TLMs, etc.
1.1.2 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.
1.2 EDUCATION OF MIGRATING CHILDREN
1.2.1 “To address the issue of seasonal migration for varying periods for work in brick kilns, agriculture, sugarcane harvesting, construction, stone quarrying, salt pans etc. and its adverse effect on education of children who migrate with other members of the family, SSA encourages identification of districts, blocks and villages from where or to which there is a high incidence of migration, the first and foremost effort should be made to bring such children to regular schools both in districts where they stay or in districts to where they seasonally migrate. However, in case this is not feasible then alternative options be explored, as described hereunder:-
(a) seasonal hostels / residential camps to retain children in the sending villages during the period of migration
(b) work-site schools at the location where migrant families are engaged in work
(c) peripatetic educational volunteer who can move with the migrating families to take care of children’s education
(d) strategies for tracking of children through migration cards / other records to enable continuity in their education before, during and after the migration.
1.2.2 The receiving district /State where migrant families are located for some period shall have responsibility for ensuring that education facilities are provided to the children during the period of migration. It is expected that the AWP&Bs of these districts would include activities for education of such children, under AIE component. The involvement of NGOs in the processes of mapping of migration and planning and implementation of interventions should be actively supported.
1.2.3 Since migration takes place across districts and States, it would be necessary for sending and receiving districts and States to collaborate with each other to ensure continuity of education of such children and by other means such as providing appropriate textbooks, teachers who can teach in the language in which children have been receiving education. For this purpose “task forces” could be set up to effect regular coordination between States/districts.
1.2.4 The appraisal process of the AWP&Bs would scrutinize if areas of high incidence of migration have been identified and whether strategies for education of seasonally migrating children have been included in district and State plans”.
(Ref .F.No-2-3/2005-EE.3 Dated on 29-8-2007)
1.3 URBAN DEPRIVED CHILDREN
1.3.1 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 areas.
1.3.2 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 areas. 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.
1.3.3 Opening of Non Residential Bridge Courses (NRBCs) for dropped out and never enrolled children, Child labours, children engaged in domestic chores, street children, adolescent girls, Children of sex workers, children studying in un recognized Madarsa etc. Short duration NRBCs of 2-6 months duration cater to younger children of 7-9 years who can be mainstreamed to regular schools in a shorter period. Long term NRBCs help in mainstreaming of older children in the 9+ age group.
1.3.4 Opening of Residential Bridge Courses (RBCs) also called Residential Camps for older children, child labourers, include children engaged in household chores, adolescent girls, deprived urban children and children living on streets especially in large cities. who have run away from their families or do not have either or both parents and /or do not have a shelter.
(Ref: F.2-3/2005 – EE.3 dated – 22nd February, 2008)
(These amendments take effect from 1-4-2008)
1.4 PROVISION UNDER SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN FOR INNOVATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR GIRL’S EDUCATION AND EDUCATION OF SC & ST CHILDREN
1.4.1 The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will develop context specific interventions, over and above the mainstreamed interventions, to tackle the problems in SC and ST education. All successful interventions so far will serve as the guiding principle for preparing such interventions. The provision of expenditure up to Rupees 15 lakh per year each given in the norms can be used for taking up innovative interventions relating to girls' education and education of SC/ST children under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The following provisions have been made for girls' education and education of SC/ST children:
(i) Interventions for Early Childhood Care and Education
(ii) School/EGS like alternative facility to be set up within one kilometer of all habitations.
(iii) Up-gradation of EGS to regular schools
(iv) Special mainstreaming camps for out-of-school girls/ SC/ST children under the Alternative and Innovative Education component.
(v) Mahila Samakhya like interventions from the innovation fund.
(vi) Provision of process-based community participation with a focus on the participation of women and SC/ST
(vii) Provision of context specific innovative intervention for girls' education and education of SC and ST children. The innovative programmes can include:
(a) Enrolment and retention drives.
(b) Special camps and bridge courses.
(c) Setting up special models of Alternative Schools.
(d) Strengthening of Madarsas and Maktabs for formal education to girls.
(e) Community mobilization including setting up new working groups and working with existing working groups.
(f) Monitoring attendance.
(g) Remedial/coaching classes.
(h) Providing a congenial learning environment inside and outside the school.
(viii) Training programme for community leaders to develop capacities for school management.
(ix) Setting up of Block and Cluster Resource Centres for effective academic supervision.
(x) Free textbooks to all girls/SC/ST children up to Class-VIII.
(xi) Mid-day-meal programme to continue as at present.
(xii) Development of bridge materials based on local resources for smooth transition of tribal and other children from mother language education to education in States official languages.
(xiii) Incentives like uniforms and scholarships to be funded from State Plan only.
(xiv) Adequate Teaching Learning Equipment for all Primary and Upper Primary schools.
(xv) At least 50 % of the teachers to be appointed have to be women.
(xvi) Provision for
(a) school and teacher grants for all teachers.
(b) 10-days in-service training each year for all teachers and 10 monthly cluster level meetings & peer group training sessions each year for all teachers at Cluster Resource Centre
(c) all children with Special needs
(d) community-based monitoring, partnership with research and resource institutions, and periodic feedback on interventions
1.4.2 The availability of innovation funds will be subject to the following conditions:
a. ECCE and girls education interventions will target interventions for supporting girls education which are not covered under other components of SSA e.g., NPEGEL and KGBV programmes.
b. Interventions for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities will be targeted to enhanced retention and learning levels of children
c. Interventions for educationally disadvantaged minorities chiefly muslim children, to target their enhanced enrolment, retention and completion of elementary education.
d. Interventions for urban deprived children with focus mainly on creating facilities for street children, migrant children, rag pickers to enable them to join elementary education.
e. No duplication with any other SSA component will be permissible. The innovation should not duplicate strategies allowed under other components of SSA or to other interventions of other schemes.
f. All components under the Innovation Head will need to be designed and executed in a clearly defined deliverable outcomes to be articulated in the Annual Work Plan of district. The innovation should be area specific and focused on clearly defined target groups. It can be in the form of a package including general SSA interventions supplemented by interventions under Innovative Heads. Steps for its monitoring and evaluation should also be clearly brought out. The interventions will be in project mode having no civil work components with clearly defined areas, target group, outcomes and monitoring and evaluation. The intervention will be broken in micro activities with indicative financial requirements.
1.5 GIRLS' EDUCATION
1.5.1 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 take into account the low female literacy among the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women.
1.5.2 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 interventions possible.
1.5.3 INTERVENTIONS/INCENTIVES FOR GIRLS EDUCATION
(i) Reaching out to the girl child is central to the efforts to universalize elementary education. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or ‘Education for All’ programme recognize that ensuring girl’s education requires changes not only in the education system but also in societal norms and attitudes. A two-pronged gender strategy has, therefore, been adopted, to make the education system responsive to the needs of the girls through targeted interventions which serve as a pull factor to enhance access and retention of girls in schools and on the other hand, to generate a community demand for girls’ education through training and mobilization.
(ii) The targeted provision for girls under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan include:
a. Free textbooks to all girls upto class VIII
b. Separate toilets for girls
c. Back to school camps for out-of-school girls
d. Bridge courses for older girls
e. Recruitment of 50% women teachers
f. Early Childhood Care and Education centers in/near schools/convergence with ICDS programme etc.
g. Teachers’ sensitation programmes to promote equitable learning opportunities
h. Gender-sensitive teaching-learning materials including textbooks
i. Intensive community mobilization efforts
j. ‘Innovation fund’ per district for need based interventions for ensuring girls’ attendance and retention.
k. Girls only schools at upper primary level within the State policy.
(iii) Efforts are being made to generate a community demand for girls’ education and enabling conditions for people’s and women’s participation, to create the push factors necessary to guarantee girls education. Motivation and mobilization of parents and the community at large, enhancing the role of women and mothers in school related activities and participation in school committees, and strengthening the linkages between the school, teachers and communities are some of the ways in which the enabling conditions are being created.
1.5.4 National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) - The National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), is a focused intervention of Government of India, to reach the “Hardest to Reach” girls, especially those not in school. Launched in July 2003, it was a separate gender distinct but integral component of SSA, which provides additional support for enhancing girls’ education over and above the investments for girls’ education through normal SSA interventions. The programme provides for development of a “model school” in every cluster with more intense community mobilization and supervision of girls enrolment in schools. Gender sensitization of teachers, development of gender-sensitive learning materials, and provision of need-based incentives like escorts, stationery, workbooks and uniforms are some of the endeavors under the programme.
220.127.116.11 The scheme is being implemented in educationally backward blocks (EBBs) where the level of rural female literacy is less than the national average and the gender gap is above the national average; in blocks of districts which are not covered under EBBs but are having at least 5% SC/ST population and where SC/ST female literacy is below 10%; and also in selected urban slums. To keep the emphasis on the programme as a distinct component of the SSA a separate account need to be maintained for NPEGEL.
18.104.22.168 The scheme has been amended in July, 2007 to provide for block focused projects for girls at risk/difficult circumstances under the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level Programme (NPEGEL) with clearly defined outcomes subject to the following conditions:
(i) Focus of interventions should be on retention of girls and improvement in the quality of learning. Detailed action plans for the target group of girls and the specific strategies to be adopted in the block are spelt out, with defined and measurable outcomes. SSA Annual Work Plans of districts to reflect NPEGEL block specific projects, accordingly.
(ii) All strategies and interventions must target both ‘in’ and ‘out’ of school girls within the block.
(iii) Funds per block would be the sum total of the sub- components admissible under the NPEGEL scheme per cluster.
(iv) The amount of Rs.2 lakhs granted for an additional room to a model cluster school be deleted from the scheme, as SSA already provides for such infrastructure. Instead the fund should be used for other approved activities and included in (iii) above.
(Ref.F.No.2-3/2005-EE.3 Dated on 29.08.2007)
22.214.171.124 The revised guidelines of the scheme of National Programme of Education of the Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) are enclosed at Annexure - V
1.1.1. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)
The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme was launched in July 2004 (merged with SSA from XI th Five Year Plan), for setting up residential schools at upper primary level for girls belonging predominantly to the SC, ST, OBC and minority communities. The scheme is being implemented in educationally backward blocks of the country where the female rural literacy is below the national average (46.13%) and gender gap in literacy is above the national average (21.67%) such residential schools will be set up only in those backward blocks that do not have residential schools at upper primary level for girls under any other scheme of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs or the State Government. This shall be ensured by the District Level Authority of SSA at the time of actual district level planning of KGBV initiatives by coordinating with the other Departments/Ministries.
126.96.36.199 The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme ran as a separate scheme for two years but from 1st April, 2007 is merged with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan as a separate component of the programme. Further, the scope of the Scheme is enlarged to cover the blocks that have rural female literacy below 30% and urban areas with female literacy more than the national female literacy (urban).
188.8.131.52 Within these blocks, KGBV schools may be located in areas with concentration of SC, ST, OBC and minority population, with low female literacy and/or a large number of girls out of school. In view of the targeted nature of the scheme, a minimum of 75% of the seats shall be reserved for girls belonging to SC,ST,OBC or minority communities and for the remaining 25%, priority is accorded to girls from families below poverty line.
184.108.40.206 The Scheme is being implemented in 2180 blocks. The amendment of enlarging coverage will provide another 410 KGBV residential schools.
The revised guidelines of the scheme of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) are enclosed at Annexure-VI
1.5.6 EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION
220.127.116.11 Realizing 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:
(i) Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
(ii) Scheme of assistance to voluntary organizations for conducting Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres.
(iii) Balwadis and day-care centres run by voluntary agencies with Government's assistance.
(iv) Pre-primary schools run by the State Governments, Municipal Corporations and other governmental and non-government agencies.
(v) Maternal and child health services through primary health centres and sub-centres and other agencies.
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 The Revised Policy Formulation reiterates the postulates of NPE, 1986 on ECCE. The prescriptions of POA, 1992 continue to be of relevance. What is attempted here is to update the POA, 1992 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 mobilizing resources, planning and monitoring.
126.96.36.199 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 may be made available to existing ICDS centres from funds available under the head innovative activities.
188.8.131.52 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, through funds available under the head innovative activities. 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.
184.108.40.206 A provision of up to Rupees 15 lakh 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.
220.127.116.11 Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a critical and essential input in freeing girls from sibling care responsibilities, leading to their regular attendance in school and in providing school readiness skills to pre-school children. SSA emphasizes the importance of strengthening convergence with the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme of Ministry of Women & Child Development to promote pre-school education as it directly benefits children in primary education. Instructions have been issued from time to time that effective synergy be maintained with the ICDS through the following:
a. Convergence instructions to be issued by State Education Departments in concurrence with ICDS Department.
b. Regular inter departmental meetings at State, district, block level between SSA official and the ICDS programme.
c. Representative of ICDS programme on the State Level Executive Committee of SSA and District Implementation Committee.
d. Location of Anganwadi centres in or close proximity to primary school campus and synchronization of the timings of the Anganwadi centres with the primary schools.
e. Joint trainings of Anganwadi workers, primary school teachers and health workers for a convergent understanding of benefits of pre-school for primary school enrolments.
f. Use of infrastructure of DIETs, BRCs and CRCs for training of Anganwadi workers and other functionaries of ICDS.
g. Strengthening of training of Anganwadi workers in pre-school activities in both existing and new projects/Anganwadi centers.
h. Augmentation of pre-school kits/materials in Anganwadis, where such materials are required.
i. In very exceptional cases, opening of pre-school centers in areas where Anganwadis are not presently available, with the clear understanding that once ICDS expands to the area, then the SSA pre-school facility will cease to exist. Norms of the pre-school center will be in keeping with ICDS norms.
18.104.22.168 Funds under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan can be accessed for ECCE support for the above activities, from the “Innovation fund” available with each district upto a limit of Rs.15 lakhs per district and also funds available for ECCE support under the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level component of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in educationally backward blocks of the country.
22.214.171.124 The detailed instructions issued by the Ministry of HRD about convergence between ECCE and ICDS are contained in the D.O.letter no.F-18-10/2001-DPEP-4/EE-8 dated 29-3-2004, copy enclosed at Annexure-VII
1.5.7 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:
A) Access and Enrolment
(i) Regular enrolment drives conducted in most States. In Uttar Pradesh, a 23 % increase has been recorded in girls' enrolment in 2000-2001 over last year's enrolment figures.
(ii) Conducting special camps and bridge courses for girls to mainstream them.
(iii) Setting up special models of Alternate Schools exclusively for girls - angana vidyalayas, bal vidyalaya, bal shalas, Sahaj Shiksha Kendras, AS cum ECE centres.
(iv) Balika Skikshan Shivirs (Camps for adolescent girls)
(v) Providing formal schooling facilities in centres of religious instruction viz., Maktabs and Madarsas.
(vi) Intensive mobilization efforts among the resistant groups.
(vii) Working in close collaboration with the community in identified pockets.
(viii) Using women's groups (both formed under the programme and those already existing), VECs, MTA, to follow up issues for girls' education.
(i) 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
(ii) Follow up of drop out girls to bring them back to school either through camps or bridge courses.
(iii) 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 organized at regular intervals to sustain the pressure and take up corrective measures as may be necessary.
(iv) In pockets identified for intensive activities, attendance of each child is monitored to prevent dropouts.
(V) In Uttar Pradesh, children are awarded graded colours for their monthly attendance - green for the best, yellow for the mediocre and red for the deficient. This system is showing results. Children are keen to achieve the green Colour.
(Vi) 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.
(i) Special coaching classes/remedial classes for SC girls.
(ii) 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
(iii) Remedial classes being organized by VEC/MTA members for girls who are not faring too well at school
(iv) Improved classroom environment to provide equitable learning opportunities to girls. Most interventions have been through teacher sensitization 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. States like Karnataka and Gujarat have taken a lead in this process.
(v) Kerala undertook a study on classroom processes with a gender focus in 168 schools. This formed the basis for the teacher training module developed on this theme. Almost 28,000 teachers have been taken through this training and have been given reference material.
D) Planning and Implementation
(i) States have been sensitized on the use of available data for local level planning for girls' education with community involvement.
(ii) Field-based trainings have been conducted in Assam, Kerala, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. States have been building on these skills and are concentrating in certain very deprived pockets. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu have also initiated focused interventions along similar lines.
1.6 EDUCATION OF SC and ST CHILDREN
1.6.1 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.
1.6.2 The interventions for children belonging to SC and ST communities have to be based on the intensive micro-planning 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:
(a) providing adequate infrastructure for elementary schooling in districts with concentration of SC and ST population.
(b) engagement of community organizers from SC/ST communities with a focus on schooling needs of children from specific households
(c) special teaching support as per need
(d) ensuring sense of ownership of school committees by SC/ST communities
(e) education guarantee scheme in remote, sparsely populated region otherwise ineligible for schools with flexible norms.
(f) setting up alternative schooling facilities in unserved habitations and for other out of school children
(g) alternative education interventions for specific categories of deprived children belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe community living in difficult circumstances.
(h) training programmes for motivation for schooling
(i) using community teachers
(j) monitoring attendance and retention of children from weaker sections regularly
(k) providing context specific intervention in the form of a hostel, an incentive or a special facility as required.
(l) involving community leaders in school management
(m) free textbooks to SC and ST students.
(n) teachers' sensitization programmes to promote equitable learning opportunities and address in class discrimination.
(o) special coaching and remedial classes.
1.7 INTERVENTIONS IN TRIBAL AREAS
1.7.1 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, are:
(a) Textbooks in mother tongue for children at the beginning of Primary education where they do not understand regional language.
(b) Bridge Language Inventory for use of teachers.
(c) Anganwadis and Balwadis or crèches in each school in tribal areas so that the girls are not required to do baby-sitting.
(d) Special training for non-tribal teachers to work in tribal areas, including knowledge of tribal dialect.
(e) Special plan for nomadic and migrant workers.
(f) Residential facilities for children in tribal blocks.
1.7.2 RESIDENTIAL HOSTELS FOR CHILDREN IN REMOTE AND SPARSELY POPULATED BLOCKS OF TRIBAL, DESERT AND HILLY DISTRICTS, UNDER SSA
126.96.36.199 Upper Primary Schools are provided as per State norms of distance and population. Now with large scale opening of new schools, most States barring a few have maximized access as per their extent State norms. However, another problem, which has emerged, is that areas within States with very scattered population are not getting Primary and Upper Primary Schools within the stipulated norms of 1 Km and 3 Kms respectively, as they do not meet the required population norms to become eligible for a school.
188.8.131.52 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) provides for construction of school infrastructure as per State norms. States, by themselves do not have norms for hostels at upper primary level. Therefore, under SSA the States would be allowed to construct residential hostels, for both boys and girls in the compound of existing Government upper primary schools, one per block, in the blocks which have a population density of less than 20 persons per square Km (remote and sparsely populated blocks of Tribal, Desert and Hilly Districts) as per KGBV construction norms. Running costs of hostel facilities would be met by States through dovetailing with other schemes or from Innovative funds under SSA, as per norms approved by the EC of the State/ UT Implementation Society.
(Ref .F.No-2-3/2005-EE.3 Dated on 29-8-2007)
1.8 Education of children belonging to Minority Muslim Community
1.8.1 To focus on education of muslim children following interventions may be taken up:
a. to ensure availability of schools in all Muslim Minority concentration districts.
b. Provision of only Girls Schools under the State Policy.
c. Support to Madarsa & Maktabs in order to provide regular curriculum to children who are not attending regular schools by providing EGS/AIE facility.
d. Provision of urdu text books for urdu medium schools and also for those teaching urdu as a subject as a part of free text books.
e. KGBV also has provision of 2 urdu teachers in KGBV opened in blocks with muslim population above 20% and select urban areas, if there is a demand for urdu as a medium of instruction in those schools.
f. Madarsas affiliated to State Madarsa Boards and satisfying certain conditions are eligible for such assistance as is available to other grant-in-aid schools e.g.
- school grant @ 5000 per annum, per school for Primary Schools and Rs.7000/- per annum per school for Upper Primary Schools.
- teacher grant @ 500 per annum per teacher for low cost teaching aids,
g. Free text-books to all muslim girls.
h. Provision for Training of Urdu teachers.
1.8.2 However, such Madarsas would be expected to follow the curriculum prescribed by the State Madarsa Board.
1.8.3 A large number of children, especially girls, are found studying in other Madarsas not affiliated to the State Madarsa Board. In such cases, an EGS centre or an AIE intervention may be started at the Madarsas by the local body concerned / community based organization, whereby free textbooks, an additional teacher if required and training to the teacher in State Curriculum can be imparted. Such interventions shall be planned for and written into the perspective and annual plans of SSA developed by the district and State Societies.
1.8.4 Based on 2001 census data, 88 districts with more than 20% muslim population have been identified for focused interventions under SSA with provisioning of above interventions in these districts to ensure participation of muslim children in Elementary Education.
1.9 EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
1.9.1 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.
1.9.2 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.
1.9.3 Components: The following activities could form components of the programme:
(a) Identification of children with special needs: Identification of children with special needs should become an integral part of the micro-planning and household surveys. A concerted drive to identify children with special needs should be undertaken through PHCs, ICDS, ECCE centres and other school readiness programmes.
(b) 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.
(c) Educational Placement: As far as possible, every child with special needs should be placed in regular schools, with needed support services.
(d) Aids 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.
(e) Support services: Support services like physical access, resource rooms in the existing BRC/ CRC, special equipment, reading material, special educational techniques, remedial teaching, curricular adaptation, adapted teaching strategies and other services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy could be provided
(f) Teacher training: Intensive teacher training should be undertaken to sensitise 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.
(g) 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.
(h) Individualised 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 indicators.
(i) Parental training and community mobilization: Parents of children with disabilities should receive counseling 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.
(j) Planning 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.
(k) 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.
(l) 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. All new school buildings should be constructed with barrier- free features.
(m)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.
(n) 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.
(o) Girls with disabilities: Special emphasis must be given to education of girls with disabilities.
1.1.1. Convergence: All activities, interventions and approaches in the area of education for children with special needs will be implemented in convergence with existing schemes 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 and NGOs.
1.1.2. 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.
1.1.3.All these components, their implementation mechanism along with related activities have been explained in detail in the Inclusive Education Manual entitled: Responding to Children with Special Needs – A Manual for Planning and Implementation of Inclusive Education in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.