KURUKSHETRA NOVEMBER MONTH : RURAL EDUCATION

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NOTE : Earlier we thought to give you December Month Kurukshetra But November Month Kurukshetra was so important that we could not afford to miss it. So here it is. Read and Enjoy. 

Click Here to Download NOVEMBER – 2019 KURUKSHETRA SYNOPSIS

Swachh Bharat Diwas : Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2019.

Released Postage Stamp and Silver Coin to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

                                   Article #1

POLICY AND PLANNING TOWARDS RURAL  EDUCATION

What do the reports Say :- According to the World Bank, rural population as per cent of total population in India was reported at 66.46 per cent in 2017. Hence, rural India needs to be accorded top priority to ensure sustainable
growth and development of the country.

Status of Education in India :-

As per Census 2011, literacy rate in rural area was around 68 per cent while it was 84 per cent in urban areas. Furthermore only 59 per cent of rural women were estimated to be literate as compared to nearly 80 per cent urban woman being literate in 2011.

Findings of NSS 71st Round (January-June, 2014):-Literacy Rate among persons (aged 5 years & above) in India was 76 % in rural areas it was 71 % compared to 86 % in urban areas, in both rural & urban areas, more than 90 % households reported availability of primary school w/I 1 km from house as per survey

NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SURVEY (Ministry of HRD):-

What type of Subject is Education :- Education is a subject of concurrent list therefore Central Government and state government works together for the betterment of education sector.

Govt. initiatives for Rural Areas Education:-

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya:- Ministry of HRD is running Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in states across country (except Tamil Nadu) & provides free & quality education to talented rural children, comparable to best in a residential school system for Class VI to XII. Total 661 Navodaya Vidyalaya are running successfully w/provision of at least 75 % seats for rural children.

Samagra Shiksha:-This is an ambitious Programme of Govt. to promote holistic education. It subsumes 3 earlier centrally sponsored schemes i. e. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) & Teacher Education (TE) & is recently launched as an integrated scheme for School Education extending from pre-school to class XII.

  • Under scheme, provision is made for giving preference to Special Focus Districts (SFDs), Educationally Backward Blocks (EEBs), LWE affected districts & aspirational districts while planning interventions like setting up of primary schools, upper primary schools, construction of additional classrooms, toilets & Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya’s (KGBVs),
  • Library Grant under Samagra Shiksha will benefit schools in rural areas, most of which have dearth of such reading facilities & will be able to provide this facility for 1st time to their students.

Samagra Shiksha focuses on improvement in quality of education by providing support for diff. interventions like in-service training of teachers & school heads, grants for library, sports & physical activities support for Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, ICT (Information & communication Technology) & digital initiatives, remedial teaching for academically weaker students, support for Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat.

Revamped Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) Scheme:-Revamped scheme of KGBVs under Samagra Shiksha will now provide facility of at least 1 residential school for girls from Classes VI-XII in every educationally backward block which does not have residential schools under any other Scheme, Approximately 3700 KGBV hostels for rural underprivileged girls are to be expanded up to 12th class under scheme benefitting more than 6 lakh rural girls mostly from SC. ST. OBC. Minority & other deprived section of societyv)

Mid-Day Meal Scheme(1995):-NSS 71st Round shows a high percentage of students in rural areas availing of Mid-day Meal i. e. as high as 70 % student getting mid-day meals in rural areas One of objectives of this scheme was to attract children from disadvantaged sections like poor, Dalits, tribals, girls & children of labour workforce including farm labour.

Revamped Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) Scheme:-An important intervention by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, objective of EMRS is to Provide quality & free of cost middle & high level education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) Students especially in remote areas.

By year 2022, every block w/more than 50 % ST population & at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Modal Residential School. Out of 564 sub-districts, at present 102 sub-districts have EMRSs.

Department of School Education & Literacy launched Swachh Vidyalaya initiative (SVI) for construction & repair of separate toilets for girls & Boys in every school which was completed w/I a year in 2015.

Recent launch of Operation Digital Board aims to introduce digital boards all over country in govt. & govt. -aided schools for nearly 1.5 lakh Secondary/Sr. Secondary Schools. Similarly, UGC proposes to take up 300 universities & about 10,000 colleges in 1st phase covering 2 lakh classrooms.

e-PATHSHALA – NCERT Books are now available in digital version for free for anybody.

As on 26 February, 2019, visits to e-Pathshala crossed 4.0 cr. App enjoys a rating of 4 out of 5 on Google paly store & 4.5 out on 5 on Windows store.

Diksha is digital platform for teachers to enable capacity building of all categories of teachers.

MOOCs on SWAYAM Platform- it is an integrated platform for offering online courses & covering school (9th to 12th) to Post Graduate Level Till July 2019,2769 MOOCs (Massive open Online Courses) have been offered on SWAYAM.

SWAYAM PRABHA (Kishor Manch) DTH-TV Channels have been launched for transmission of educational e-contents thru. 32 National Channels i. e. SWAYAM PRABHA DTV-TV.

National Digital Library of India (NDL) is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources w/a single-window search facility.

The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme:-
If we talk about Higher Education as per 2018-19 Report (All India Survey of Higher Education), 60.53 per cent Colleges are located in rural areas.

It shows that we have enough college in rural India but they are lacking in quality. The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme aims to improve the status of Higher Education in 117 aspirational districts from 28 states.

During the first phase of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Central assistance to States has been provided for creation of one Model Degree College each in 60 Educationally Backward Districts.

NISHTHA:- National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) has been
launched to build capacities of 42 lakh elementary school level teachers, principals, block resource
centre coordinator and cluster resource Centre coordinators.

The basic objective of ‘NISHTHA’ programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and
foster critical thinking in students.

Vision of Draft New Education Policy (NEP) to increase Supply of Good Quality of Teachers in Rural Areas:- To ensure that truly excellent students enter the teaching profession- especially from the rural areas, the draft NEP envisions creating special merit scholarships which will also include guaranteed employment in their local areas upon successful completion of their four year integrated B.Ed programme.

KNOWLEDGE BOOSTER :-Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’- The Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme: DHRUV has been started by Government of India to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge. In centres of excellence across the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.

Ministry of Human Resource and Development.

                                     ARTICLE #2

STRATEGY TO PROMOTE RURAL EDUCATION

United Nations Human Development Report reveals a doubling in mean year of schooling from 3.0 to 6.4 b/w years 1990 & 2017.

Rural-Urban Comparison in school Education: In terms of school infrastructure, while there are marginal differences in the availability of drinking water facilities and toilets, the urban-rural divide is evident in terms of the provision of electricity. Similarly, urban areas tend to have more schools with libraries and classrooms in good conditions.

The rural regions perform better in terms of gender parity. Rural region fall short in terms of having optimally resourced schools.

While the pupil – teacher ratio is almost equivalent, rural regions have more than double the number of single – teacher school than urban areas.

Strategies to Promote Equitable Education:-

NITI Aayog is also steering the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) Program in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. These three states are undertaking simultaneous academic and administrative reforms with an aim to create efficient schools, enhance human resource capacity, strengthen organization structure and most importantly, improve learning outcomes.

NITI Aayog released the School Education Quality Index – SEQI. The Index provides the first national ranking of states, based on the success of their school education systems. SEQI strives to drive evidence-based policymaking and will facilitate cross learning among states/UTs.

India is on the verge of finalizing a new education policy. The draft National Education Policy 2019
envisions an inclusive and equitable education system where all children have an equal opportunity to learn and thrive.

                                    ARTICLE #3

                    Impact of Right to Education

State shall provide free & compulsory education to all children of age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as State may, by law, determine.

Main Features of Act:

Act makes education a fundamental right of every child b/w ages of 6 & 14 years & specifies minimum conditions or input criteria that have to be met in all elementary schools. It mandates all private schools to reserve 25 % of seats, absolutely free of cost, for children belonging to disadvantaged categories, which is to be reimbursed by State, it prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, & also states that provision for donation or capitation fees is not permissible as well as that no child or parent should be required to appear for interviews prior to admission.

RTE Act identify children who should be getting an education in school & set up facilities for provisions such as teacher-student ration, minimum infrastructure (drinking water, separate toilets for girls & boys, libraries, playgrounds, classrooms ramps, boundary walls, etc. ) shall be made available in all schools.

Section 29 of Act provides for curriculum & evaluation procedure in elementary schools.

Academic authority must ensure adherence to following eight factors as stated in RTE Act.

Notification of teacher qualifications under section (23) of the RTE Act and the prescription of the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) are other significant developments to improve the quality of education in school.

Why Does The RTE Stand Out?

This is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrollment, attendance and completion of the Government.

An external constitutional body is necessary to monitor the implementation of the Act which brings in transparency and accountability

Increase in enrollment has been one of the most significant achievements under the RTE. In 2016, only about 3 per cent of children in the 6 -14 years of age were out of school.

The goal of ‘access to education’ is more or less considered to be achieved at elementary level and the focus is now shifting to secondary and higher secondary level.

Identifying and Correcting Some Implementation Gaps:-
Section 12(1) (c) of the Act mandates non-minority private unaided schools to reserve 25 per cent of their entry-level seats for children belonging to disadvantaged categories.

However, the MHRD reports says that only 5-6 lakh seats annually are being filled under this provision.

One another problem is low investment by government in Education.

KNOWLEDGE BOOSTER:-

MHRD Announces National Educational Alliance for Technology Scheme:-MHRD has announced a new PPP Scheme, National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) for using technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education on 19th September 2019.

MHRD would act as a facilitator to ensure that the solutions are freely available to a large number
of economically backward students.

It would create and maintain a National NEAT platform that would provide one – stop access to
these technological solutions.

AICTE would be the implementing agency for NEAT programme.

 

                                     ARTICLE #4

TEACHER EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL INDIA

For preparing good teachers, the nation had elaborate panoply of Government – owned Teacher Education Institution (TEI) having B.Ed., D.EI.Ed. and other courses.

Key components of quality include: teachers, effective classroom processes, assessments & evaluations of student’s learning school infrastructure. School leadership & community participation.

Status of TE(Teacher Education): The rural TE landscape is imbued with District Institutes of Education Training (DIETs), primary Teacher Education Centers (PTEC) in addition to the B.Ed. colleges.

In review of the amendment to Section 23(2) of RTE which mandates that all teachers should be trained, a widening and deepening of TE, particularly in the rural areas, is the need of the hour.

What Does Widening and Deepening of TE Mean?
The widening of TE means spatial coverage of TEIs to all districts and also to some of the blocks, if
needed.

 The deepening of TE involves –
1. Enlarging the bouquet of course
2. Bringing in new techno-pedagogical particles
3. Leveraging information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education and
4. Designing and conducting several thematic modular courses for the Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) of the teachers.

INITIATIVES:- MHRD, under the aegis of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), has started a condensed one – week CPD for all elementary schools in India. This ambitious CPD programme has been named, National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers ‘Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA).

The redesigning of curriculum and faculty orientation is already underway. All B.Ed. colleges are to introduce this course, if they are to continue after 2030.

The draft NEP envisages to bring TE under the umbrella of higher education and the proposed National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) would be the sole regulator whereas the NCTE would transform into a  professional Standard Setting Board (PSSB).

                                    ARTICLE #5

      Availability of Teachers for Better Education

As per Draft NEP (2019), “Teachers truly shape future of our children- &, therefore, future of out nation. It is thru. Teachers that our children are imparted w/values, knowledge, empathy, creativity, ethics, life skills, & social responsibility.

Current Situation:

• While India has done well in terms of access and equity, and brought almost every child to school,
the learning levels of children need considerable improvement.

• Data shows that currently 8.33 lakh teacher posts are vacant at the elementary stage and 1.11 lakh
teacher posts are lying vacant at the secondary level.

Most in – service teacher needs are still met by a one-size fits all ‘training’ approach. Transaction
in this training is also largely one – way.

Issues Regarding Teachers:-

Lack of initiatives & mechanisms that explicitly aim to recruit best performing students or those that have most talent for teaching into teaching profession.

Quality teacher education is severely lacking & indeed in a crisis at current time. There are approximately 17,000 teacher education institutions in country, of which over 92 % are privately owned.

Next major issue is that of deployment of teachers. According to govt. data, country faces over 10 lakh teacher vacancies – a large proportion of them in rural areas- leading to Pupil Teacher Rations (PTRs) that are even larger than 60: 1 in certain areas.

Lack of sufficient infrastructure, resources, & supplies are other impediments that affect availability of teachers, especially in rural India.

Inspite of Right to Education Act mandating teachers not to indulge in non teaching activities teachers are often asked to spend large portions of their time on activities, such as midday meal preparation, administrative tasks, data management, etc.

Finally issues like salary, Promotion, etc, in school system are hardly based on merit & competence.

What should be done to better the Quality/Efficiency of Teachers:-

To ensure that truly excellent students enter teaching profession from & in rural areas merit-based scholarships need to be instituted across country. In order to gauge passion & motivation for teaching, a classroom demonstration or interview should become an integral part of teacher hiring at schools.

A comprehensive teacher requirement planning exercise need to be conducted in each State to assess expected teacher & subject vacancies over next 2 decades.

All Schools need to be equipped w/adequate & safe infrastructure, including working toilets clean drinking water, clean & attractive spaces electricity, computers & internet in order to ensure that teachers & students are comfortable & inspired to teach & learn.

In collaboration w/parents & other key local stakeholders, teachers will also be more involved in governance of schools & decision making including as members of School Management Committees.

Finally, teachers need be given more autonomy in choosing finer aspects of curriculum & pedagogy, so that they may teach in manner that they find most effective for students in their classrooms & communities.

Teachers must be given constant opportunities for self-improvement & to learn latest innovations.

Further Recommendations:-

• Ensure availability of a full complement staff of teachers in every school with a focus on remote
school and remote districts.

• States should develop a strong core group of outstanding teacher educators through a rigorous
process of selection and professional development in partnership with identified institution.

• Make material for teachers and teacher educators available in the state/local language.

Conclusion:

• If education is to improve, teaching has to improve. Any change effort has to recognize the centrality
of the teacher

                                 ARTICLE #6

INVOLVING LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN RURAL SCHOOLS

Challenge is how to drastically improve female literacy rate which is still 58.75 % while literacy rate in SCs is 62.8% & only 56.9 % STs are literate in rural areas.

Quality of Education:-Number of surveys conducted either by non-governmental organizations like ASER (Pratham) year after year indicate that more than 50 % children in class 5 are unable to read text prescribed in class 2 or govt’s. National Achievement Survey (NAS) which shows that average scores in many grades & subjects still ranges b/w 40 – 50%.

If quality of rural education is poor in terms of basic skills, knowledge & language efficiency required for number of jobs, it will affect chances of rural youth.

Self-help groups are grassroots initiatives by local communities to work together & help each other for creating opportunities & opening avenues for financial betterment of member families.

Finding Creative Solutions:-Firstly and most importantly the solution must come from grassroots. It is very important to involve the local communities in rural areas as the most crucial stakeholder in educating the rural masses with quality education. They must take the ownership of rural education.

Decentralization in school/college management and governance is the key for fixing and reviving the broken governance system of rural education in India. In this connection, the role of local bodies and self-help group becomes most crucial.

SHGs can be used in management and governance of rural schools on pilot basis after giving proper training and capacity building programmes.

Conclusion:

It is important to note that India cannot ignore the issue of quality of education in its rural areas. The time has come to involve local bodies and SHGs creatively and purposefully in revitalizing the rural education.

                                    ARTICLE # 7

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN SCHOOL EDUCATION 

During last two decades a major emphasis is given on improving school environment by dif. Educational programmes like Operation Blackboard, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), & Samagra Siksha, in order to enhance regular participation of students & finally resulting in improvement in their learning levels.

Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) are residential upper primary schools set up in educationally backward blocks for girls from SC, ST, OBC & Minority communities.

Computer Aided Learning (CAL): Main objective of CAL Programme is to attract rural children, retain them in schools & to improve quality of education thru. Animated multimedia based educational content.
Samagra Shiksha subsumes 3 Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) & Teacher Education (TE).

Ramp & CWSN Toilet:-One of the major objectives of all education programmes that have been implemented at present is to develop an inclusive education system by providing access to children with disabilities. Provisioning of ramp and CWSN toilet facility are two major interventions in this regard.

Library:=The RTE Act and RMSA specifies that the Library will be an essential component of the school.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT):-ICT@ schools was a scheme launched in 2004 to provide opportunities to secondary and senior secondary students.

Science Laboratory for Secondary & Higher Secondary schools:- Under RMSA, integrated science labs has been sanctioned to the secondary schools.

Conclusion:

A good school infrastructure with good spaces makes conducive place for the children to study. Both SSA and RMSA have improved access to elementary and secondary education in the country.

In rural areas, the augmented school infrastructure has enhanced enrolment of children in schools especially girls and disadvantaged groups.

It makes the learning more interesting and gets the children motivated to attend school, this in turn improves the attendance and interest of students in learning.

                                 ARTICLE #8

TOWARDS DIGITAL AND FINANCIAL LITERACY

According to Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) financial education means ‘process by which financial consumers/investors improve their understanding of financial products, concepts & risks & thru. Information, instruction &/or objective advice, develop skills & confidence to become more aware of financial risks & opportunities’.

Financial literacy means awareness about schemes, policies & all other services that banks & financial stakeholders offer.

Importance of Financial Literacy:=

  • Inclusive Growth & Financial Inclusion.
  • Familiarity & Ability.
  • Freedom from exploitation.
  • Prevention of over indebtedness.
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship.
  • Positive Spill-over effects.
  • Making Pension Responsibility an individual or personal affair & not that of State Corporation.
  • Behavioral Change.
  • More & better input in Financial Markets.
  • National Strategy for Financial Education (NSFE)

National Strategy for Financial Education is prepared in 2012 to being about a massive financial education campaign that would create awareness & would educate consumers on how to gain access to financial services.
As per National Strategy for Financial Education, key elements of financial literacy module should be as follows.
To understand that main financial products that one might need in course of one’s life ‘bank accounts, insurance, retirement saving plans & securities market investments like stocks, bonds & mutual funds’.

Importance of Digital Literacy:-

To stay well-connected w/world & be in effective communicating developmental ideas & translating vision of rapid growth into reality, digital literacy is a must in today’s world.

Some Examples:-

Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (DISHA)
Digitize India Platform (DIP)
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
AADHAR & AADHAAR Enabled Payment System

SOME EXAMPLES OF FINANCIAL DIGITAL LITERACY PROGRAMMES:-

Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan: Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan is a program which is set to be launched to serve the differently-able community of the country. The program comes with an index to measure the design of disabled-friendly buildings and human resource policies.

AGRIMARKET App:- This app is created to enable farmers to stay updated w/crop prices in order to ensure best market for sale of their crop & assess market conditions beforehand.

Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM):-This app makes bank transactions simple, swift & uncomplicated. It enables bank to bank direct transfer, which is done using a mobile phone.

Cyber Swachhta Kendra

Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan (VISAKA)

MHRD, VISAKA is said to be “biggest digital transformation of country after Independence” Principle of VittiyaSaksharta Abhiyan’ is to energetically connect Higher Education Institutions & their students & encourage All payers & payees to use a “digitally enabled cashless economic system” for their fund transfer.

PRELIMS BOOSTER FACT :-

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