Samagra Shiksha initiative aims at improving quality of education and learning outcomes.
The Samagra Shiksha initiative launched in May 2018 is an integrated school education scheme that subsumes the preceding three education schemes, namely Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). The scheme has a holistic approach to education and aims to universalize access to education from pre-nursery to Class 12 in all the states across country. It emphasizes on ensuring the quality of education and improving the learning outcomes by focusing on the two Ts – Teachers and Technology.
The scheme also aims at improving the quality of teacher training by strengthening teacher training institutions like State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and District Institute for Education and Training (DIETs). The overall 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.
Access to Quality education in Sikkim
While the rest of the country is coming to terms with the provisions of the new scheme, Sikkim government has already made headway towards improving the quality of education in the state. The state has already implemented many of the provisions of the scheme and many other approaches which are unique to Sikkim. Sikkim spends 20% of its budget on education, the highest per capita spending on education in the country. The effective utilization of funds allocated is reflected in the fact that there are over 780 government schools, three government universities, 421 private schools and five private universities in the state.
The state also has the best teacher-student ratio in the country with 1:5 in Primary, 1:8 in Elementary and 1:6 in Secondary, and has achieved 100% literacy in 2018. And in order to build and improve capacity and quality of teachers training the state has three DIET centers and the SCERT. The SCERT in the state actively conducts various programmes to support school principals and build a strong network of quality-trained teachers.
Education for All in Sikkim
Bhim Thatal, State Project Director of Samagra Shiksha scheme in Sikkim, said they had begun implementing various provisions of the initiative even before the scheme was officially launched in the state earlier this year. Education is also free for all from pre-nursery till college level. And programmes like free education for the BPL students up to the postdoctoral level, financial aid to SC, ST and OBC students, and free RTE (Right to Education) entitlements like uniforms, textbooks, bags, shoes, meal etc. fulfill many of the provisions for improving access to quality education for the economically weaker sections. Sikkim’s commitment to making quality education accessible to all sections of society is well established and it would only achieve greater education outcomes with the implementation of Samagra Shiskha in the state, he said.