New Delhi: Quality primary schooling for all should be the target for effective learning, while focus on higher and technical education is the need of the hour for employment generation, the Economic Survey said on 25 February.
“Universalisation of elementary education of adequate quality to ensure satisfactory learning standards among children is an objective that needs to be pursued vigourously,” the Survey tabled in Parliament said.
The Survey said under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), 2,88,155 new schools have been opened till September 2009. In addition, the initiative has also seen supply of free text books to 9.05 crore children.
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A total of 10.11 lakh teachers have been appointed under the SSA and another 21.79 lakh have been provided in-service training, it added. “There has been significant reduction in the number of out-of-school children on account of SSA interventions.”
The pre-budget Survey stressed the importance of higher and technical education segments also.
“Quality higher and technical education increases the employability of the youth and can help reap the benefits of India’s looming demographic dividend,” it added.
The government has spent Rs425 crore for setting up of new polytechnics during 2009, covering 175 districts.
“Two new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) at Indore and Mandi started functioning from the academic session 2009-10,” the Survey said.During the 11th Five Year Plan, one new Indian Institute
of Management (IIM) was established in Shillong in 2008-09. “...the remaining will be set up in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.”
Besides, the Central Universities Act was promulgated in January last year for conversion of three state universities into central universities.
It also brought new central universities in 12 states.
On examination reform, the Survey said, “Government policies have been focusing on providing quality education and upgrading skills as well as creating a more child-friendly educational environment.”
It mentioned that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) took some important decisions, like doing away with board exams for Class X from 2011, after consultations with various stakeholders such as school principals, teachers, parents, students, academics and the people.
The survey further said the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), launched in March last year, has objectives of achieving an enrolment ratio of 75% for Classes IX-X within five years and universal access to secondary level education by 2017, among others.
Besides, the government has sanctioned 167 model schools across six states.
Also 163 girls’ hostels have been set up in seven states under a centrally sponsored scheme.