New initiatives & guided policy transform education scenario

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2017 launched many initiatives to transform the education sector with the motto of ‘Sabko Siksha, Achhi Sikhsa’ (Education for All, Quality Education).
The Learning Outcomes programme emphasised on the quality of education. For the first time Learning Outcomes has become mandatory till Class VIII, the class wise, subject wise.
In this regard, Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary stage have been developed.
These are the basic levels of learning that children should arrive at the end of each class. An amount of Rs 91.20-crore has been released by the MHRD to all States and UTs for printing the Learning Outcomes documents, the Posters and the leaflets in regional languages, and for their distribution.
The National Achievement Survey (NAS) which was earlier based on textbook content is now a competency based evaluation.
As compared to only 4.43-lakh students who were earlier tested across Classes 3, 5 and 8, this time around 22-lakh students from around 1,10,000 schools across 700 districts of India (including rural and urban) were assessed in the year 2017-18 making it one of the largest sample surveys of student learning achievement.
Through NAS 2017-18, it will be for the first time that the teachers will have a tool to understand what exactly the child should be learning in various classes, how to teach this through activities and how to measure and ensure that children have reached the required level.
This will also help agencies at the District, State, and National level to conduct achievement surveys and assess the health of the system to improve upon the policy directives.
Adding to this, for the first time there will be detailed district-specific report cards for all the districts in the country. In the field of Teacher Education reforms, DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) was launched on the occasion of Teacher’s Day by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
DIKSHA will accelerate and amplify solutions, experiments and innovations that are underway, and is being attempted in the areas of teacher training and professional development.
States and TEIs have the autonomy and choice to repurpose and extend DIKSHA to suit their own needs and purposes. DIKSHA is for the benefit of Teachers in Schools, Teacher Educators and Student Teachers in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs).
The training for untrained teachers is being conducted through Online Mode by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The online D.El.Ed. course has already been started from October.
A unique feature of this initiative is that the study material for the course prepared by NIOS in self-instructional mode, is uploaded on the SWAYAM platform in four quadrants ie (1) Audio/Video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. A total of 14,02,962 in-service untrained teachers from Govt., Govt. Aided and Private Schools have registered on the NIOS portal and 13,58,000 admissions have been confirmed so far.
A two days ‘National Workshop Chintan Shivir’ was organised by the Department of School Education and Literacy in November. More than 350 participants from various NGOs, Private organisations, individual experts, state officials etc. participated.
Deliberations were held on six themes Digital Education for Students, Digital Education for Teachers, Value Education, Physical Education, Lifestyle Education and Experiential Education.
A Social Science Exhibition cum National Integration Camp was organised by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to celebrate Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat. A total number of 1250 students of Kendriya Vidyalayas participated in this National level camp from all the 25 regions.
In another landmark, the NCERT launched a portal to facilitate individuals, schools, States and UTs to directly purchase textbooks. Textbooks will be distributed through four Regional Production-cum-Distribution Centres already established at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Guwahati and Kolkata apart from Delhi HQ. NCERT has also empanelled 905 vendors across the country for distribution of textbooks.
Also, during June 2016, DoSE&L launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar to recognize, inspire and celebrate excellence in sanitation & hygiene practice in Government Schools in the areas of water, sanitation, hand washing with soap, operations and maintenance, behaviour change and capacity building.
A total of 2, 68,402 schools applied online through web portal/Mobile App for the Puraskar. The schools were selected at the district, state and national level. 643 schools were evaluated at the national level and National awards were given to 172 schools on including elementary and secondary schools in both urban and rural areas.
For 2018 the Puraskar has been extended to aided and private schools also and till 2nd week of November, 5.33 lakh Government, Aided and Private schools have submitted their applications for the Puraskar.
An Innovation Fund has been set up under RMSA in order to encourage local innovative interventions for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement in secondary education in 3479 Educationally Backward Blocks.
The fund is likely to be operationalised by December, 2017 and its impact should be visible by December, 2018. The Department of School Education and Literacy launched “Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya” campaign as a collaborative effort of the Central Government which provided funding through Centrally sponsored schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat Kosh, and the States/Union Territories with Public Sector Undertakings and Private Corporates. Under this initiative, 4, 17,796 toilets were constructed/made functional in 2, 61,400 schools in a period of one year up to 15th August 2015.
With this, India achieved the target of providing 100% access to functional toilets in all government schools across the country. The provision of toilet facilities in all schools has enhanced sanitation standards in schools leading to better health and hygiene among the children. ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’ was also recognised as one of the priority programmes for Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for 2016.
In view of the vastly transformed landscape of education in India in terms of coverage, content and delivery systems, a New Education Policy is being formulated after nearly 30 years.
The MHRD has embarked on an unprecedented collaborative, multi- stakeholder and multi-pronged consultation process. The consultative process has reached out to individuals across the country through more than 2.75 lakh direct consultations while also taking online inputs.
The online consultation process was undertaken on portal from 26th January, 2015 to 31st October, 2015 and nearly 29000 suggestions were received on the 33 identified themes. Over 200 thematic national workshops were held with a youth survey by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development.
With regard to School Education, 1, 10,623 villages, 3250 Blocks, 725 Urban Local Bodies from 340 districts of 19 States have uploaded their Grassroots Consultation Reports on < > portal.
Similarly, 2741 Blocks, 962 Urban Local Bodies from 406 districts in 20 States have done the same with regard to Higher Education. A Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy has been constituted to examine the outcome documents, recommendations & suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education
Policy as well as a Framework for Action. Other initiatives are National Academic Depository (NAD), National Digital Library (NDL), Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN), Smart India Hackathon 2017. (agencies)


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