The Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), popularly known as Bihar Education Project (BEP)... Read More
  Components

The broader areas of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) are: (i) universal access, (ii) universal enrolment, (iii) universal retention and (iv) quality elementary education to all children. In order to achieve the cherished goal of UEE and to keep linkages with the activities, following major components are envisaged under the framework of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA):

    Quality Improvement
    Girls' Education
    Education of Children With Special Needs (CWSN)
    Education for SC/ST Children
    Education for Urban Deprived Children
    Early Child Care Education
    Education for Out-of-School Children (EGS & AIE)
    Research, Evaluation & Monitoring (REM)
    Management Structures
    Community Mobilization & Media
    Civil Works
    Management Information System (MIS)
    Computer Education

Quality Improvement
Improving the quality and efficiency at the school/classroom level is a major thrust area under SSA as it aim to provide education of a 'satisfactory quality' in achieving the goal of education for all. Mere focus on access, enrolment and retention may not result in better school effectiveness. The effort towards achievement of quality need to go hand-in-hand with efforts directed towards increasing access, enrolment and retention. The ultimate goal of all quality directed interventions is to attain positive changes within the school-classroom settings. Certain major components that contribute towards quality improvement within schools and classrooms are:

        Vision of Quality Elementary Education
        Curriculum Renewal Plan
        Teaching Learning Material (including textbooks)
        Teacher Training
        Teaching-Learning Process
        Academic Resource Support Structure
        Monitoring of Quality Aspects

Girls' Education

    SSA's commitment to universalize elementary education necessarily implies equal & universal participation of all children regardless of religion, caste, creed, sex etc. Thus special attention to certain disadvantaged groups of children would be imperative if the goal of UEE is to be achieved. Girls, who comprise almost one half of the eligible child population, fall into this category of children requiring special attention as their participation in elementary education has been far from the desirable.

The deterrents to girls' education are rooted in their homes and society. Educating girls is commonly perceived as unnecessary; mainly on account of the role they have been assigned in running the house and also because they will eventually leave their parental homes after marriage where their skills in household chores will hold them in better stead.

    Poor retention of girls is attributed to two main factors. The first is the tendency of parents to withdraw them from school on attainment of adolescent age (say 9+) as they become capable of fulfilling certain domestic needs (sustenance activities & sibling care) while the second is the school environment itself which neither encourages girls nor is able to bring out the best in them. During the seasons of harvest, marriages, festivals, etc. girls' attendance at school suffer a setback as they are kept back at home. In the absence of any mechanism to address their need as a result of these periods of absenteeism, their achievement suffers. Thus begins the cycle of teachers' neglect in the classroom leading to disinterest and de-motivation eventually resulting in their leaving school. Added to these are natural barriers, distance to school.  

    Ensuring equal opportunity for boys and girls is not adequate enough. The question of 'Gender equity' often demands additional support and facility for ensuring girls' education equivalent to others. A girl doing poorly, probably needs special attention in class, and perhaps even in family and community, while an intelligent girl may demand for attention that teacher should show towards every student in class. The teacher may also have to look into facilities, she is allowed in her family to increase the rate of improvement..

    The Girls' Education component has now been supported through two prestigious programmes under SSA namely National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) and also through Mahila Samakhya.

 Education of Children With Special Needs (CWSN)

    SSA focuses on increasing access, enrolment and retention of all children as well as improving the quality of education. The objective of SSA can be realized only, if all children including those with special needs (CWSN) are included under the ambit of elementary education. Experiences of programmes like DPEP have shown that with adequate support services, CWSN can be provided quality education, in regular schools.

    CWSN have often been marginalized on account of their disability, lack of awareness on the part of the community about their potential, apprehensions on the part of the teachers to teach such children and a general societal attitude of sympathy towards such children focusing more on what they cannot do rather than on what they can do.

    Realizing the importance of integrating CWSN in regular schools, SSA framework has made adequate provisions for educating CWSN. SSA ensures that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category & degree of disability, is provided meaningful & quality education. Hence, SSA has adopted a zero rejection policy. This means that no child having special needs should be deprived of the right to education.

    The SSA framework, in line with the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act, 1995 provides that a child with special needs should be taught in an environment, which is best suited to his/her learning needs. These might include special schools, EGS & AIE or even home based education.

 Education for SC/ST Children

    India's concerns towards the welfare of the weaker sections of the Indian society, has been well reflected in Article 46 of the Constitution, which states that the State will promote the educational and economic interest of the weaker section of the Indian society, specially the Scheduled Tribes (ST) & Scheduled Castes (SC). The welfare of the SC & ST, has been made the responsibility of the State Governments. As per the census 2001, a sizeable proportion of such children resides in Bihar. SSA, live to the educational needs of these children has made special provisions in the form of free text books and innovative schemes to the tune of a maximum of Rs. 15 Lakhs per district in addition to usual interventions.

Education for Urban Deprived Children

    An important category of children, which needs special attention, belongs to the urban poor section of the society, as almost one-third o the population of India Resides in urban areas. These children are not only economically poor, but often deprived of the family support and educational environment. Children of urban poor and the deprived are often excluded from education and their coverage under UEE remains a challenge. Multiplicity of administrative units, lack of micro level units for planning and implementation and a very heterogeneous community, are some of the numerous issues affecting UEE in urban areas.

    The problems of educating the deprived urban child are complex and varied. Moreover, urban population growth in the last decade has been unprecedented, rendering the urban areas unable to cope with the ever-increasing pressure of migrants. A large number of urban deprived children belong to special focus groups like Girls, SC/ST, children with special needs etc. Children in such situations are a heterogeneous  group and can be classified as follows:-

         Children living in slums and resettlement colonies;
         Child workers/labourers, including children working as domestic servants;
         Street children;
         Children of sex workers;
         Children of migrant workers;
         Children in remand homes, juvenile homes, and in conflict with law;
         Child beggars;
         Children studying in religious institutions such as Madarasa/Maqtab.

    The education of this group of children are being specifically addressed through this component with the linkages with other components under SSA.

Early Child Care Education

    SSA recognizes the importance of early childhood care and education in the 3-6 years age group as precursor to improving enrolment and participation of children in the schooling system. many children, especially in the age group of 3 to 6 years, who are also first generation learners, are denied the opportunity to access basic pre- school facilities, which are so crucial for the development of motor, sensory, social, emotional and cognitive skills among children. ECCE provides basic pre- school facilities to these children. it also relieves the elder siblings, especially girls, from sibling care, thus facilitating their enrolment and retention in schools. realizing the importance of ECCE, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched by the Government of India in 1974 in 33 blocks initially, which is now having coverage of 5600 blocks.

    An ECCE programme is one of the most cost - effective ways of addressing both socio- economic and gender inequalities. ECCE is seen as a vital input towards preparing children, particularly first generation learners, for schooling. therefore, SSA has made a special provision in form of innovative education of Rs.   15 lakhs per year for every district under ECCE.

Education for Out-of-School Children (EGS & AIE)

    Since SSA envisages universalizing elementary education, it becomes imperative that all out of school children are brought into the ambit of elementary education. this aspect become particularly important, as one of the major objectives of the SSA is to bring all children in school by 2005, either through formal schools or Education Guarantee Centers (EGS), Alternate Schools, back to school camps, etc.

    Besides formal schools, SSA also provides support to out of school children in the form of EGS and many other strategies under Alternative and Innovative Education (AIE) programme. the interventions for out of school children under SSA mainly includes, setting up formal schools or EGS centre in un-served habitations, and different models of alternative school.  The out-of-school children can also be provided education through bridge courses, remedial courses and back-to-school camps. The main emphasis is on mainstreaming of out of school children into regular schools, once they achieve educational level specific to their age.

    The major groups that constitute out of school children comprise never enrolled children and dropouts . A major chunk of this population includes, children from SC and ST communities, working children and girls, especially adolescent girls (9+), who are deprived of education owing to various factors such as distances to schools  especially at the upper primary level, domestic chores, sibling care etc. the participation of girls also tends to decline in case of particular social groups such as SCs, STs, Minorities, OBCs etc. Thus, special attention needs to be given in devising appropriate strategies to enhance access, enrolment and retention of these hard-to-reach children in the educational system.

    There is a great heterogeneity among 'out of school children'. out of school children could belong to remote school- less habitations, could be working children, street children, deprived children in urban slums, bonded child labourers, children of sex workers, girls belonging to the minority community, girls involved in domestic chores or sibling care, children who are engaged in cattle grazing etc. This heterogeneity demands diversified approaches and strategies for their education.

    EGS & AIE supports the following  broad kinds of strategies:-

        Setting up full time community schools in school-less habitations (EGS). The EGS and AIE would accord a priority to setting up EGS centers (primary level) in un-served habitations where no school exists within a radius of 1 km and at lease 15 children (and 10 in case of hilly areas) in the age group of 6-14 who are not going to schools, are available.
        Interventions for mainstreaming of 'out of school children' through bridge courses of different duration, (AIE).
        Specific strategies for difficult groups of children who cannot be mainstreamed, like working children, adolescent girls, girls belonging to certain backward communities, children of migrating families ets. (AIE).
        Innovative Programmes - the innovations can be in the areas of pedagogic practices, curriculum, programme management, textbooks and TLMs, etc.

    For minority children studying in Madarasas not affiliated to the Secondary School Board of the State/ Madarasas Board of the State and following the State Board curriculum etc. EGS centres may be opened in such Madarasas where free textbooks, an additional teacher, if required, and training to the teacher in state curriculum could be provided.

    Evidence of demand from the community and communities' commitment would be a prerequisite for preparation of proposals under EGS and AIE. For details on EGS and AIE scheme, the Handbook entitled "Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative & Innovative Education" may be referred, it may further be mentioned that an additional  teacher can be provided in a primary level center with the number of children exceeding 40. Also, no rent for running of EGS centres is allowed. under the EGS/AIE scheme it has  been decided to fund NGOs through State Implementation Society. NGO proposals have to be processed through Grant In Aid Committee (GIAC) constituted in every State. Substantial partnership of NGO is conceived through community organizations like VSSs & PRIs.

 

Research, Evaluation & Monitoring (REM)

   Research and evaluation supports are integral to a programme like the SSA. This is a very important intervention for the quality planning and implementation of SSA. Many of the intervention strategies in SSA are based on assumptions. To validate them it is necessary that they are scientifically examined. Moreover, there is a serious dearth of researches on pedagogical and non-pedagogical issues influencing quality of elementary education. In order to seek answers to numerous pertinent issues emanating from variety of context specific factors it is essential that the SSA should pay special attention to conduct, promote sponsor, and advocate for serious research in the area of elementary education. Therefore, this component have received due importance in the SSA. It is expected that the research studies and surveys will serve three-fold objectives:

        To provide inputs both in terms of qualitative and quantitative data for plan formulation.
        To assess the processes adopted in implementation of the plan.
        To evaluate the impact or the outcomes of interventions.

    The major research projects to be undertaken/undertaken under SSA are:

        Base-line, mid-term and terminal learners achievement surveys: These are required to assess the achievement level of students at the primary and upper primary stages of education in each district, with special focus on the achievement of girls, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, rural and urban students.
        Social Assessment Study: The study is required to assess the existing socio-economic, cultural and educational scenario and problems of various communities living in the area with special focus on SC/ST, other deprived section of the society and girls.
        Studies:  To assess the effectiveness of on-going educational schemes, community participations, classroom practices, teacher training programmes, preparation and use of TLMs etc.
        Action Research:  To  promote small action research in schools to help in school effectiveness, classroom transaction & teaching learning process.

 Management Structures

    To effectively implement SSA, which has such a large coverage, for effective management of the programme, it is important that the appropriate structures are developed and strengthened. As far as management structure is concerned, the central concern of the programme is to adopt those management practices, that combine specification of clear objectives, decentralization of planning at the district & sub-district level and participation of grass root level structures (VSS/PRIs) in the implementation of the programme. The visual representation of the essential structures envisaged in the programme may be seen under the hyperlink Organizational Chart.

    Project Management in SSA will operate and facilitate and provide support at State / Division / District / Block / CRC / and School level and will involve SSA staff, Government personnel in the field, Learners, Teachers, Parents, PRIs, Community, Voluntary Agencies, Resource Institutions and Willing and Creative Individuals.

 Community Mobilization & Media

    The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 confers Constitutional status on the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). The Constitution provides for devolution of powers and responsibilities upon Panchayats at appropriate level. Keeping with the vision of the Constitution (Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Amendment) Act, 1992, SSA has made adequate provision for community involvement in facilitating the implementation of various aspects of the programme. Experiences of earlier programmes like BEP, DPEP have also reinforced the role of community in education. It has been envisaged under SSA that the Panchayats, VSS and other community forums both in rural & urban areas, would complement each other by creating a strong base at the grassroots level for community participation in the education scenario.

    The huge task of UEE cannot be achieved without active involvement of community. That is why, in SSA great emphasis is laid on Community Mobilization. Bihar Education Project has consistently and consciously included community participation and environment building in its strategy. Education is, undoubtedly, an integral part of the process of social transformation. Emergence of the " Bihar State VSS Act 2000 " regarding constitution of VSS with every school and other statutory character has been perceived as an outcome of the ongoing empowerment exercise for community.

    The community is expected to play a key role in micro-planning, especially in the development of Village/Habitation level plan and School Improvement Plans. Community based monitoring in specific issues like enrolment, retention, education of girl child and other disadvantaged groups, utilization of various grants and construction is important to ensure attainment of the programme objectives. Communities can be involved in programme implementation through following key activities:

        Empowerment of community;
        Generate community awareness towards education;
        Involve community in micro level planning;
        Involve community in monitoring & supervision; and
        Construction & maintenance of school infrastructure.

Civil Works

    Civil Works is an important component under the SSA - financially it may consume up to one third of the project outlay. This ceiling may further go up keeping in view the needs & objectives of UEE after the approval of the competent authority. Provision of school infrastructure helps in providing access to the children, and also help in their retention, both of which are important objectives of SSA. Similarly, infrastructure provision for Resource Centres at Block levels help in creating academic support, which acts as a catalyst towards quality improvement.

    Involvement of the local community in construction, creating a child friendly school environment and ensuring the quality of construction are the three basic features of the civil works component under SSA.

    Civil works strategies/activities are to be carried out based upon the school wise infrastructure data that shall include number of children, number of teachers, existing infrastructure & analysis of required infrastructure. Major activities which are allowed under Civil Works are:

        Construction of School Buildings;
        Construction of additional classrooms;
        Provision for toilets & drinking water facility;
        Construction of boundary walls & electrification of schools;
        Repair & Maintenance;
        Construction of Block & Cluster Resource Centres;
        Construction of SIEMAT;
        Training & Capacity Building.

Management Information System (MIS)

    The Management Information System consists of three sub-components. The three sub-components – Management, Information and System together constitute a holistic view of an effective system. Information refers to the processed data readily available for the end users. The word Management here focuses on the use of information system for managerial decision making and not for mere technological name sake. Although, MIS does not necessarily have to rely on a computational device, any meaningful MIS should exploit the power of computing and communication devices to the maximum available at the moment. Therefore, we would mean Management Information System (MIS) to be the set of computer based systems and procedures, designed to improve the managerial decision making process – that involve collection, organization, distribution and storage of information for analysis & control.

    As breathing is to living, decision making is to management. It is a part and parcel of management – both with regard to day-to-day activities as well as on activities with long term implications. It is the quality of decision that either makes or breaks the organizations. Therefore decisions should be based on data & facts instead of mere perception. This is necessary since total quality management aims at continuous quality improvement; it needs to base its development strategy on a base-line information. Hence data and information are necessary foundation for decision making for continuous quality improvement.

    Besides, acting as Decision Support System (DSS), the scope of MIS in general are collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data and integration in the planning process. The MIS would primarily assist the agencies implementing SSA by providing information on:

        Access, retention and quality related issues;
        Intervention-wise progress of SSA implementation;
        Schooling scenario of children in the target group;
        Progress of EGS/AIE related issues;

    Specific objectives of MIS under SSA are to implement major aspects namely Educational Management Information System (EMIS), Project Management Information System (PMIS), Financial Management Information System (FMIS), Student Attendance Management Information System (SAMIS), Household Management/Bal-Panji Information System etc.

Computer Education

    The last decade has witnessed rapid progress in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as wide-spread use of computers in the day-to-day life. The use of computer based education to make learning a more joyful process for children is becoming widely prevalent across the globe.

    Realizing the importance of computers in the learning process, computer education has been made an important part of SSA. As SSA aims to provide useful and relevant elementary education to children, the programme provides for Rs. 15.00 lakh per district per annum for computer education at the upper primary level (Class VI-VIII) under the Innovation head. The main objectives of computer based education at elementary stage are:

        To create computer awareness and literacy among children and teachers at elementary level.
        To make teaching learning effective and interesting through computer-aided learning.
        To empower the teachers to generate supplementary material in digitalized form and in other forms.
        To improve quality of education and also enrollment and retention.

    Computer education should be envisaged at three levels. The first stage would be to orient teachers and children to computers; second stage would be providing computer aided learning and third stage would be computer-based learning (computer literacy). Focus in SSA Under SSA, innovative activity for computer education would be for upper primary level and the focus would be on identification as well as dealing with hard spots, especially in English, Mathematics and Science. Computer Aided Learning would be used by teachers as a teaching aid and also by students for remedial learning. Use of effective graphics, animations, audio, imaginative analogies and simulations should also be encouraged.  Computer based learning would not only make learning interesting and joyful, but also induce novelty in thinking approach of the children and enhance their imagination power. One of the preferred model under this is BOOT (Build, Own, Operate & Transfer) model. The guidelines for BOOT model under SSA, Bihar is available under guideline/manual section of the portal.

     Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)

     National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)

     Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya( KGVB)

     District Primary Education Programme (DPEP)

     School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE)

      Bihar Education Quality Mission (BEQM)