Government Schemes and Programmes

The 1986 National Policy on Education (NPE) stated as its goal that universal primary education, i.e., up to class V, shall be achieved by 1990 and universalisation of Elementary Education by 1995. Neither the target of the year 1990 nor that of 1995 was realized. Almost 7 years later, the Ministry of Human Resource Development released a document in 1993 on the Education for All (EFA) which strikes a pessimistic note that EFA by 2000 AD seems to be a 'daunting task'. These varying declarations emanating from the Central Government's Ministry of HRD are most confusing! A radical re-construction of the educational system has been too often emphasised. Accordingly, the NPE (1986) viewed policy formulation in the wider socio-political context. The Committee for Review of NPE - 1986 elaborated this and viewed education in the overall context of social, economic, regional and gender-based disparities. Similar views were expressed by the Yashpal Committee (1993), which felt education could not be altered without altering a lot of things in our social set-up. In the context of the proposal to make free and compulsory education a Fundamental Right up to the age of 14 years, a committee of State Education Ministers was constituted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in 1996. This committee wanted the State Governments to start primary schools within a distance of 1 to 1.5 km., from rural habitations provided that there is a population of 250 in the area. Similarly middle schools shall be established within a distance of 3 km., from rural habitations with a population of 500 in the area. However, in the case of starting schools in hilly desert, tribal and inaccessible areas these norms may be relaxed. Other recommendations of the Committee included free supply of textbooks, essential stationery and school uniforms to all children in primary schools. The Committee also recommended incentives like cash awards and scholarships, provision of teachers' training, quality textbooks, Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL) and continuance of Mid-day Meals Scheme. Further, minimum infrastructure and teachers as envisaged under Operation Blackboard should be provided in all primary and middle schools. Other recommendations of the committee were the promotion of special schemes for the education of girls, SCs and STs and may should be supported by the Central Financial Assistance. The Union and State Governments should earmark 50 per cent of the education budget to elementary education . 

An expert Committee in the Planning Commission has recently recommended a hike in education expenditure. In fact three decades before, the Kothari Commission had suggested an increase in the expenditure on education to six per cent of the GDP. The failure to achieve this target may be attributed to lack of a firm political commitment to the social sector in general and education in particular. The expert committee has urged that India should reach the six per cent mark by 2007 while the states were required to target spending six per cent of their SDP. Noted laurate Amartya Sen has quite often suggested a cut by five per cent a year of the military expenditure of India over the next five years could release about $ twenty two billion, which would easily exceed four times the required amount to achieve the goal of universal primary education within the next five years . But no Government is prepared to slash down military expenditure. The restructuring of allocation priorities within educational budget is an  oft-repeated idea. There has been a persistent demand to allocate over seventy per cent of education budget in favour of primary education. However, with political power vested in the upper-caste, upper-class coterie, would there be political will to attempt this drastic demand? -- School Education in Tamil Nadu -Problems and Prospects, M.K. Subramanian, 01/10/2002, Social Action, /eldoc/n00_/01oct02SOA2.pdf

‘Operation Blackboard’ started under the NPE aimed to provide minimum educational infrastructure and teachers to maintain the standard student-teacher ratio. The deadline was set clearly - that by 1990 every child would be given 5 years primary education, and by 1995 every child would get 7 years elementary education. However, the Government by passed the deadline and started the National Literacy Mission (NLM) in 1998, primarily for adult education. The purpose of the NLM failed when it was seen that children in the age group of 9-14 years thronged the Adult Education Centres, whereas such centres were meant only for persons in the age group of 14-35  years. As a result, in 1992, while reviewing the NPE, the Government decided in the Programme of Planning (POP) that children from 9 years could go to Adult Education Centres for education. By doing that the Government proved the failure of both the NPE and the NLM and the lack of farsightedness in policymaking.- Campaign For The Right To Education, National Centre for Advocacy Studies, 01/07/2002, /eldoc/n00_/campaign_right_education.pdf

The charwaha vidyalaya scheme was launched by Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav in December, 1991, with much fanfare. The project was even appreciated by UNICEF and was quickly adopted by Central schemes like TRYSEM, Indira Awas Yojana, IRDP-RLGEP and ICDS.
It aimed to impart basic education to children of poor peasants who supplemented their parents' meagre income by cattle-herding, "Earn while you learn" was the attraction. The concept envisaged that children bring their herd and learn while the animals grazed in the fields attach-ed to the schools.- Laloo Yadav's dream flounders, Abhijit Sinha, The Pioneer, 22/01/95,  /eldoc/n00_/22jan95pio1.pdf

Primary Education and the Five year Plans 

Despite all initiatives taken for achieving universalisation of primary education the backlog has continued in enrollment and dropout rate is still high. Two major initiative has been taken during Eighth Plan are the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) and Nutrition Support to Primary Education (Midday Meal Programme) with a view to addressing the problem of equality, access retention and quality at primary state. During the VIII Plan the enrollment of girls and children for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes has shown an increase at the primary stage. The dropout rates have also shown a declining trend. However, there is still a long way to achieve the goal of universalisation of primary education. The Ninth plan apart from carrying out the directions given by NEP(1992)12 - is committed to making the nation fully literate by 2005 AD; keeping in view the declaration of education as an aspect of Fundamental Right. The Midday Meal Scheme will be implemented in all the states to ensure regular attendance and retention in primary and middle level schools.- Policies and Programmes to Improve School Education in Rural India - A Critical Evaluation, H.D.Dwarakanath, Social Action 01/10/2002, /eldoc/n00_/01oct02SOA10.pdf

The first and more important of the two new parameters is possibly going to change the character of the Indian Constitution itself in a very significant way by adding another layer of democratic government to the functioning of the polity. The new third level of constitutional authority in the shape of the panchayati raj bodies is virtually created by the Constitution (73rd Amendment) and Constitution (74th Amendment) Acts of 1992. These now enable Article 243 of the Constitution to provide  for bodies like the district planning committees and the metropolitan planning committees to deal with, besides certain other subjects, the planning and administration of education. Education thus becomes now a concurrent subject at three levels of democratically elected government— the Centre, the state and the districts.
... one must have a completely reliable system of democratically installing the panchayati raj apparatus, and then keeping its governmental compon ents in place all the time, just as it happens at the Central or state levels. The recent postponement of the panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh, for example, may raise reasonable fears that the third tier of democracy introduces a new level of uncertainty at the district level. Decentralised planning ' and its implementation cannot obviously thrive on such fears.


The second new parameter that of external assistance to India's basic education projects is arguably temporary.
But its sheer dimension both in absolute terms and in terms of the proportion of contribution it provides to a project should not go unnoticed. The total estimated outlay on the seven new projects in the basic education sector is Rs 29.26 billion for the eighth plan period. The expect ed flow of external resources for the support of this outlay is Rs 24.51 billion, which is about 84 per cent of the total. The DPEP alone claims Rs 19.50 billion...
Surely such a degree of dependence on foreign aid for providing the basic educational needs of the masses would have been quite unthinkable even a few years back. While one need not be hysterical about the possible danger of such dependence in a vital sector of society, there can be no doubt that there should be only humiliation in store for us if we are unable to use this money in a way that makes the outcomes both desirable and transparent to all.

The DPEP is rightly seen by the international funding agencies as the flagship of India's new education policy. But they have put some of their eggs in other baskets too. The DPEP is,of course, the major response to Jomtien 1990 but at least some of the other six projects are not only more compact but also more directly targetted in terms of the Jomtien call for education for all. One example is Mahila Sama-khya, a project on education for women's equality through organisation of women's collectives. It covers 20 districts andhas a total outlay of Rs 513 million, the whole of which is being covered by external
assistance. - Learning by degrees from below, Tapas Majumdar, Telegraph, 17/10/1994, /eldoc/n00_/17oct94tel1.pdf

Mahatma Phule Education Guarantee Scheme

About two million children in the state, who were deprived of formal education can now be assured of getting primary education as part of a new scheme devised by the Maharashtra government, last week. The revised scheme was sanctioned and brought out on May 15 under the Mahatma Phule Education Guarantee Scheme by the state primary education department, under policy guidelines of the National Elementary Educational Policy, 1994 which aims to bring education to the door step of a child.  Welcoming the scheme, Mr Vivek Pandit, social worker, Samarthan said, "The uniqueness of this scheme is that any child can get the same education as in an ordinary formal school from a trained volunteer who should have atleast passed the higher sec ondary This simplifies the whole process of primary education." According to the scheme, all those children not registered in formal schools can avail the benefit of door to door education, either at the place of work or residence and also at a time suitable for a group of children in a remote hilly region. This would help remove various hurdles like commuting to school etc. Under the scheme, an informal education centre, can be opened after seeking permission from the local advisory committee under the chairmanship of the district collector or municipal com-missioner, at any place without the need to have a school building.- State to educate 2 mn children, JOHN MANJALI, Asian Age, 28/05/2001, /eldoc/n21_/28may01aa1.pdf

Each time attention is drawn to the pathetic state of affairs in primary education, most State Governments resort to the time-worn tactic of launching a new scheme. Maharashtra launched the Ma-hatma Phule guarantee scheme which is supposed to provide education centres where there are no schools. This was designed to cover areas where enough children a minimum of 10 in tribal areas and 16 in others could not be enrolled to justify setting up a school. But there is no data to indicate whether the scheme has made any difference. - Waiting to learn, Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, /eldoc/n21_/14sep01h1.pdf

WHAT does the government do when it is forced to make arrangements for the education of 66 lakh poor children? Simple. It picks up an ongoing scheme and rechristens it to present it as a new one.
Latest in the series is the much publicised Mahatma Phule Education Guarantee Scheme. The scheme is based on a report of a task force on education appointed by the government itself. It was launched by the Democratic Front Government in October with much fanfare. However, according to the members of the panel which had drafted the origi-nal report, it is a mere eyewash. "The scheme under implementation is nowhere near the re-port we had submited to the government. They have merely clubbed two programmes being funded by the UNICEF and the World Bank and rechristened it as Mahatma Phule Education Guarantee Scheme," alleges Vivek Pandit, a member of task force. The new scheme is in no way an alternative to the 'Mukta Shala Yojna', he remarks.- State revives old education scheme for poor children, Indian Express, 14/11/2000, /eldoc/n21_/14nov00ie1.pdf

EGS reduces costs of delivering primary education by re-examining critical basic inputs required. These have been identified as local resident teachers, training these teachers, teaching-learning material, a certain amount for contingencies and academic supervi-sion. The annual cost of operating an EGS school works out to just Rs 8,500. The EGS model is based on decentralised management. History reveals that centralised models of delivery delayed the spread of primary education even where resources were identified. In Madhya Pradesh, a Lok Sampark Abhiyan or a door-to-door survey was undertaken jointly by panchayat leaders, teachers and literacy activists in 19,978 panchayats in 1996 for a detailed identification of children who were not going to school, and to follow it up with an enrollment drive. This led to the development of decentralised panchayat level plans of primary education and for the first time created an alternative peoples information system on primary education.- A school for EVERY KILOMETER, Pioneer, 22/11/2000, /eldoc/n21_/22nov00pio1.pdf

Madhya Pradesh is the first State in the country where guarantee of education has been giv-en to the children on the demand of community. So far 26,417 schools have been opened under the Education Guarantee Scheme which is under implementation from first of January 1997. Following creation of Chhattisgarh State the State of MP has 20,877 Education Guarantee Schools while Chhattisgarh State has 5540 such schools. The Government 's role is limited to providing school education facilities. The community appoints "Guruji" i.e. teachers. The Education Guarantee Scheme has won Commonwealth's Golden Award for this radical initiative and the Government of India has taken up the scheme as a national scheme. The State Government is making concrete efforts for universalisation of middle school education.- MP Gets Primary Schools At Every 3 Km, Majupuria, Sanjeev, Pioneer, 02/01/2001,  /eldoc/n21_/02jan01st1.pdf

At present, there are only 21,108 middle schools, while formal primary schools number about 87,000 and EGS schools, 27,000. Most middle schools are situated in the bigger villages and towns, which are usually be-tween five and 10 km from remote areas, whereas the Central government stipu-lates there has to be a middle school within a three kilometre radius. However, what's heartening is that ever since the EGS introduced schools inthe innermost habitations, community demand for middle schools has in-creased. "There is already a plan under-way to estimate the demand for middle schools in all the districts. We will up-grade some EGS schools, and construction of new ones will begin by March," informs Amita Sharma of the state's Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission. In Betul district, which has about 346 middle schools, there is a demand for 273 more. And it's all happened in under a year. In Rajgarh too, people have demanded 142 new middle schools: obviously, they don't think the existing 359 will suffice, when their children clear the Class 5 board examination.- Rural children want middle schools to continue their schooling, ANUPREETA DAS, Indian Express

District Primary Education Programme (DPEP)

The programme consists of a scheme spread over seven years to achieve the following:
- Decentralised and participatory planning and administration at the district level, involving village leadership, NGOs, schools, district and block personnel.
- Specific strategies to increase enrolment and retention of girls, SC and ST students (identified as gender, caste and tribe 'gaps' in primary education).
- Focus on enhancing capacities of teachers by providing workshops for teachers and production of new teaching learning
materials to improve student achievement of learning.
- Administrative capacity building at the district and block levels.
- Collection of data and setting up an Education Management and Information System (EMIS) [MHRD 1995].
 - Aided Programmes or Guided Policies? DPEP in Karnataka, PADMA M SARANGAPANI, A R VASAVI, Economic & Political Weekly, 09/08/2003, /eldoc/n00_/09aug03EPW2.pdf

Prior to 1990, there were a few large scale foreign funded projects in education. UNICEF and the ILO had funded some non-formal education centres, the Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Programme (APPEP) which was funded by the ODA (now called DFID, UK), the Siksha Karmi with Dutch funding and Lok Jumbish with funding from SIDA, were the only programmes operational. All of these were 'aid' programmes. Since 1990, the government of India began accepting funding for elementary education in the form of loans, with the World Bank being the largest creditor. The European Union is also a large donor. From the point of view of the World Bank, which provides the major component of the funds in the form of a loan, the funding seems to be linked to 'providing a safety net' within the overall policy of structural adjustment. Indeed, the first programme funded by the World Bank in Uttar Pradesh prior to DPEP, was referred to as a safety net programme. In 1993, the MHRD, Government of Indial, conceived the DPEP as an umbrella scheme under which the support from all the different funding agencies would be channelled [MHRD 1993].

The Lok Jumbish project had faced a major set-back after the Pokhran nuclear experiments. when the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) pulled out of India. The project lost almost three-fourth of the funds (the rest is a contribution by the Centre and the State) It was sometime before Britain stepped in with a grant aid for continuing the project. A team from South Africa came unexpectedly to study the project two weeks ago to replicate it back home. However, the bell tolls on April 1 when Lok Jumbish moves out of this area of Rajasthan. But the good news is that the project now shifts to some of the most backward regions of the State. Naval Khan, Rashid, Ali Mian are all dis-tressed. What happens to the education of our children? Those who had resisted education earlier arc now despondent. It is evident that the experiment to encourage primary education is a success. - - Meos left in the lurch: Lok Jumbish moves on, Grassroot Development, 01/03/2001, /eldoc/n21_/01mar01grd1.pdf

Education of Girls

Now comes another jolt. The latest Unesco report points out that India is among the 12 countries which are ‘at risk’ of not achieving gender parity even by 2015. Two points need to be made in this regard. First, gender parity is merely a ratio of the enrolment of girls and boys. It indicates neither participation in school nor any learning achievement. Second, the report deserves credit for distinguishing between gender parity and gender equality and attempting to define gender equality in terms of equal opportunities for education at all stages as well as for job opportunities and earnings thereafter.

For India, this is a signal not to dilute our own policy commitments under international pressure. The 1986 policy had made a clearer and stronger statement on ‘education for women’s equality’ than either the Jomtien Declaration (1990) or the Dakar Framework of Action (2000), both being promoted by the World Bank and UN agencies. By accepting these, we allowed the steady dilution of our policy during the Nineties on several fronts, including girls’ education. This was both to please aid agencies and fulfil the dictates of the IMF-World Bank’s structural adjustment programme.

On women’s education, the 1986 policy stated that “education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women [to] neutralise the accumulated distortions of the past”. This policy insight was reflected in the designing of the Mahila Samakhya programme, the only government programme that undertook to radically change the status of women through their collective action. Yet, this received only marginal attention.

Under the World Bank-sponsored District Primary Education Programme, the Mahila Samakhya was reduced to a programme of merely increasing enrolment of girl children on school registers. The World Bank also diluted the objective of women’s education to just raising their literacy levels and productivity rather than educating or empowering them and turning them into mere transmitters of fertility control, health or nutritional messages. India, unfortunately, gave up its progressive policy on women’s education in favour of the international framework that was guided more by the considerations of the market than by women’s socio-cultural and political rights. The government will hopefully extricate itself from the trap of external conditionalities that dilute our constitutional and policy commitments.- Goal posts shifted, Anil Sadgopal, Hindustan Times, 11/11/2003, /eldoc/n21_/11nov03ht1.html


Establishment of mass literacy is a task that calls for sensitive and well-coordinated administrative skills and a political commitment that few governments in post-Independence India have had. Without mass organisations of the poor, without mass participation in programmes of social and economic development and without the universalisation of primary education, the gains of the literacy campaign will be difficult to sustain.
THE National Literacy Mission (NLM) was established in 1988, with the objective of revising and strengthening the existing
adult education programmes in the coun-try and making them mass programmes.
An important conclusion of the inter-national literature on education and literacy is that mass literacy is not a development outcome that is achieved merely with the passage of time: it requires a conscious and organised mass cam-paign. The Indian experience on this is dear enough. India's programmes of adult education, administered by the Department of Adult Education for several decades, failed to achieve any real progress in the field of mass literacy.
Internationally, campaigns to promote rapid increases in rates of literacy have involved the mobilisation of large numbers of learners and teachers, often by central authorities who have used elements of compulsion, ideology and social pressure to propagate literacy.
Literacy is, of course, of intrinsic importance in the life of a human being. Literacy is also an instrument of empower-ment.
Awareness about social problems and structures, and information about development programmes can help trans-form lives, by enabling people to seek— and demand— better conditions of life. To be 'literate' in terms of the norms of the Mission, a learner must have basic literacy and numeracy skills, functional know-ledge, usable in day-to-day affairs and social awareness.
Experience has shown that there are some innovative features of the total literacy campaign in India that are com-mon to the different areas in which it has been implemented.- Total Literacy Campaigns: A Field Report, Nitya Rao, Economic & Political Weekly, 08/05/1998, /eldoc/n00_/08may98EPW.pdf

The NLM was bound to face problems in any case because presumably some persons in charge did not do their home-work in 1992. It was in that year itself that India had also adopt the programme of educa tion for all as part of its national education policy. EFA, of course, is more holistic, logical and in line with the mandate of the Constitution. Plain economics suggests that there may not be enough money in the kitty for both the NLM and the EFA. Ever since the Jomtien world conference of 1990, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation and other international aid agencies have begun to favour education for all programmes. Thus it no longer makes sense, either ideologically or pragmatically, to think in terms of investment in education for literacy alone. It seems that in the battle of ideas between the total literacy and the EFA programmes it is the philosophy of the latter that is going to prevail. The NLM might even change to make it indistinguishable from the wider EFA movement. This will however not necessarily end the inconsistency syndrome in the national education policy.- Living life tech-size, Tapas Majumdar, Telegraph, 15/11/1994, /eldoc/n00_/15nov94tel1.pdf

Many eyebrows lifted when the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh declared Narsinghpur totally literate. In the face of various questions and suspicions, the media was cleverly manipulated. Editorials in the leading newspapers of western Madhya Pradesh called it the 'Ernakulam of the Hindi belt'. But what was the reac-tion of the field level functionaries the volunteers who were recruited at the village level to run one literacy class each, and the school teachers who were released from the normal school duties for about a year to supervise and look after literacy classes in five to six villages each? The situation at the field level is far from optimistic.- Myth of Total Literacy in Narsinghpur, Sadhna Saxena, Economic & Political Weekly, 07/11/1990, /eldoc/n00_/07nov90EPW.pdf

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, EFA, Universalisation fo Primary Education 

A 10-year massive plan for universalisation of primary education, costing Rs.2,937 crores will be implemented in 22 districts from this year with the objective of retaining students upto Standard VIII and completely eliminating the drop-out phenomenon.The scheme, which initially will have a major funding support from the Centre, ``is to be made a people's movement, by involving school management committees or parent-teacher associations to provide infrastructure and educational aid,`` a release from the Education Minister, M. Thambi Durai, said. 

The project would aim at 100 per cent enrolment of all `school-age' children by 2003. It would ensure that all those enrolled completed Standard V by 2007 and standard VIII by 2010. It would provide high quality education and put an end to `drop-outs'.The release said a district primary education project was already being implemented in eight districts. The proposed `Education for All' project would cover the remaining 22 districts.- Rs.2,937-cr. primary education project for 22 districts, Hindu, 10/01/2002, /eldoc/n21_/primary_education.html

THE Prime Minister will head the National Mission on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Government's much-touted programme for universalisation of elementary education which is going to stick to 6-14 as the target group.Announcing this at the Consultative Committee meeting, Human Re-source Development (HRD) Minister Murli Manohar Joshi said that the necessary notification will shortly be is-sued...
The universalisation of elementary education is expected by 2010. The scheme is estimated to cost, over a 10-year period, an ad-ditional Rs 60,000 crore. The HRD Minister urged the religious and charitable institutions to come forward and complement government efforts. Joshi, who is going to be the vice-chairperson of the Mission, said: 'All efforts would be made to provide adequate resources for the Abhiyan based on the District Ele-mentary Education Plan, in part-nership with the state-level depart-ments.- PM to head mission on education for all,  SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA, Indian Express, 23/12/2000, /eldoc/n21_/23dec00ie1.pdf

As 35 per cent of students in elementary and middle schools quit studies every year in Tamil Nadu, the Centre has come up with a Rs. 300-crore package for the State to reduce dropout. Under its new Sarvasiksha Abiyan campaign (Education for All Scheme), the Centre has already released the funds for the Tamil Nadu Government to improve the quality of education and infrastructure in schools.According to School Education department officials here, the Government would use the funds to upgrade primary schools middle schools ``wherever necessary'', and recruit teachers. As of now, there are about 37,000 primary and middle schools in the State.- Centre's package to reduce dropout in Tamil Nadu, Hindu, 05/01/2002, /eldoc/n21_/centre's_package.html

The Uttar Pradesh Government has launched a special campaign to ensure admission of the entire eligible child population to primary schools. A similar campaign, named "school chalo abhiyan", had been launched at the beginning of the academic session last year too, which paid dividends. According to State Education Department officials, while the rate of drop-outs during earlie years was about 50 per cent, last year the ratio came down to 28 per cent.

Launching the campaign formally here today, the Chief Minister said to ensure free education to all, the Government had decid-d to provide free text books to every student upto Class V. Till last year this facility was available only to girls and children belong-ing to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. In all 1.60 crore children would benefit from the free text-book scheme and this would entail an expenditure of Rs 50 crores to the exchequer. - U.P. campaign for school enrolment, Hindu, 05/07/2001, /eldoc/n21_/05jul01h1.pdf


Universalisation of elementary education (UEE) or Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan -- so essential for the development of our country -- is a difficult goal to achieve. Though economic and social factors are the chief obstacles in achieving this laudable goal, factors like the geographical location of a village and presence of a disability also hinder implementation of UEE projects. Janashala aims to achieve UEE by addressing these issues. The Janashala programme has four facets, joyful learning (Nali-Kali), community participation, school sanitation and inclusive education.
Nali-Kali, is an innovative method that lets a child learn at his own pace. It has produced excellent results with children in the lower primary classes. Under the Janashala programme selected teachers undergo a 12-day training in the implementation of the Nali-Kali method. Even without textbooks and homework, traditionally considered a must for school education, children have blossomed into confident learners. Teachers too have begun to enjoy this new method. - Adding joy to learning, Bharathi Prabhu, Deccan Herald, 30/03/2003, /eldoc/n21_/30mar03dh6.htm

The new government at the centre needs to review the SSA programme and associated programmes like the National Programme for Girls Education at the Elementary Level (NPEGEL). Thorough reviews of working guidelines are necessary to ensure that there is scope to deal with region and context specific issues – in particular to acknowledge diversity and tailor the programme to meet the varying needs of such a vast and complex country. It may be recalled that the SSA programme and also the new NPEGEL programmes were introduced with little debate or participation of stakeholders. They remain topdown programmes introduced with little consultation with the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE), state governments or the larger elementary education committee.- Is Schooling for the Poor on the Government Agenda?, Vimala Ramachandran, Economic and Political Weekly, 24/07/04, /eldoc/n21_/240704EPW3349.html


Non-Formal Govt Schemes and programmes

Non-formal Education: the post 1986 scene It goes to the credit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that as a part of his continual efforts to modernise India, he forced the bureaucracy to take a serious look at the failures of the educational infrastructure. This in itself was a great achievement of the New Education Policy of 1986, and the best strategy adopted was to open up the system to voluntary effort so as to provide room and scope for innovation in the hope that flexibility will lead also to new systems.
Non-formal education (NFE) is an accepted bureaucratic jargon in the ministry of human resources development. But the break with the past has yet to come. Greater importance needs to be given to the NGOS who are working in this field. Proper documentation is the need of the hour and a concise and comprehensive evaluation of their performance has yet to be undertaken.
Institutions undertaking non-formal  education projects could absorb and benefit from a higher level of funding. The best project executed by the Rajasthan Government has been jointly funded by the Government of India and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Shiksha Karmi

The Rajasthan state government has taken a pragmatic and measured view of the special problems of state schools in poverty-stricken areas where teacher absenteeism is rampant and village responses to the schools apathetic. The blueprint drawn up for the Shiksha Karmi Scheme is almost identical to the Gondi experiment of 1946 in Adilabad. It also has a parallel in the extremely successful strategy devised by Bunker Roy for night schools run by the Tilonia School of Social Work in Rajasthan for school dropouts and children of grazers and peasant families. Girls have a higher dropout rate than men
In Tilonia, school dropouts who have passed only the eight or 10th grade are employed as barefoot teachers. They are trained to generate social awareness towards the village environment and rural issues amongst the students by involving every possible resource in the village-policepersons, postmaster, nurse, patwari, bank manager, village head who explain how systems work (or do not work) for them. 

The Shiksha Karmi scheme has now completed a decade since its inception, covering about 2,000 village primary schools in over 70 blocks spread over 29 districts of Rajasthan. Taken both in terms of economy of investment as well as the spread of beneficiaries, this scheme is far more effective than residential schools would have been for the spread of primary education.
While the Navodaya Vidyalayas have an annual student population of over one lakh students in the whole country, the Shiksha Karmi project benefits about 1,20,000 children in a single state.- Educating the underprivileged, Grassroot Development, 31/08/1998, /eldoc/n00_/31aug98grd1.pdf


- Laloo test to pick and polish backbenchers, Telegraph, 24/11/2000, /eldoc/n22_/24nov00tel1.pdf

- Janshala movement, Abha Sharma, Deccan Herald, 28/07/2002, /eldoc/n30_/28Jul02dch1.htm

- Financing Education/Govt Schemes and Programmes - National Human Development Initiative Education in the      Union Budget, Jandhyala B G Tilak, Economic & Political Weekly, 06/03/1999, /eldoc/n00_/06mar99EPW.pdf

- New schemes marked the education scene in 1995, Times of India, 25/12/1995, /eldoc/n00_/25dec05toi1.pdf

   - Teach me not, K.V.Rao, Telegraph, 20/06/1995, /eldoc/n00_/20jun95tel1.pdf

- Policies to programmes, AMRIK SINGH, Deccan Herald, 16/07/1995, /eldoc/n00_/16jul95dch1.pdf

- A change for the better, KALYAN CHAUDHRI, Frontline, 10/02/1995, /eldoc/n00_/10feb95frn1.pdf

   - The primary right to education, Rajeev Roy, Pioneer, 22/01/2001, /eldoc/n21_/22jan01pio1.pdf

1. Different Approaches for Achieving EFA - Indian Experience, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, 01/01/2003, R.N00.41 pg 27-28

2. Literacy Campaign and  Basic Educational Initiatives: Statuses and Issues, Denzil Saldanha, Tata Institute of Social Sciences,01/11/96, R.N31.10

3. Education in India, Issues/Concern/Debates, Asian South Pacific Bureau of Education, 10/01/03, R.N00.24

4. A New EGS: Education Guarantee Scheme in Madhya Pradesh, Gopalakrishnan, R & Sharma, Amita, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, 1998, R.N21.21

5. Ministry of Human Resource Development - Annual Report 2003-2004, Government of India, 01/01/2004, N00.30
 govt schemes and programmes

6. A New EGS: Education Guarantee Scheme in Madhya Pradesh, Gopalakrishnan, R & Sharma, Amita, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, 01/01/1998, R.N21.21
7. Education For All - India Marches Ahead, Government of India, 01/11/2004, R.N00.35

8. Bringing the People Back in: From Lok Sampark Abhiyan to Education Guarantee Scheme in Madhya Pradesh, Sharma, Amita & Gopalakrishnan, R, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, 1997, R.N21.14