Economics · Governance · Public Policy

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan: A Critical Analysis of its Tangible and Intangible Impact

“Illiteracy is our sin and shame and must be liquidated.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

  1. Introduction

In a country like India, the democratization of education is very essential in order to achieve the welfare for the country. The government has also felt a need to universalize education for all on mandatory basis. Unlike other programmes for retaining universalization of elementary education, as a comprehensive approach Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has made such an attempt that covers all the aspects of school functioning and has tried to provide education for all irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion etc. It is comprehensive because it is implemented in all the districts of India. For protecting, promoting and fulfilling the basic rights of education so as to realize the 86th amendment of the Indian Constitution (which made education a fundamental right), SSA has aimed at achieving the universal retention in a holistic and convergent way within the mission period. Universalization of education means that school facilities should be provided to all the children between the age group of 6-14 years in the country. The school should be easily accessible within the walking distance of a child.

From past era to now there have been many changes in the pattern of education. Before the Britishers arrive, importance was only given to the education for boys. But now scenario has changed and a concept of equality has arrived so now the mantra is Education for all.

The flagship programmes such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which is an important scheme for the vital element known as education. The importance of education is economical and societal everywhere. It helps in bridging the gap of gender and social category gaps in enrolment, retention and learning. Our country is lagging behind in case of education because of lack of resources and awareness. It is important to look at the tangible and intangible aspects the programme through this seminar and analyse the present situation. The main objective is about:

The study of tangible and intangible effects of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The study the necessity of education.

Accessing the reasons of dropout rates of children from the schools.

  1. Importance of education

Education is extremely important because it gives a general sense of understanding, knowledge, skills and acquires good habits. A right to education has been recognized by some governments. At the global level, Article 13 of the United Nations‘ 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes the right of everyone to an education. Education is also said to discover new things and creating good ideas. It discovers and completes an individual and a self enlightening process. If we try to put a definition of education then it is commonly referred to as the process of learning and obtaining knowledge at school, in a form of formal education. It is evident that our government has failed to provide compulsory primary education to the masses. India shares 34% percent of the world’s illiterate population. (Himanshu, 2012)

  • Divisions of School Education

The school education in India today has roughly three divisions:

  1. The Primary education,
  2. The Secondary education and
  3. The Higher Secondary education.

The primary education is virtually, a disorganized affair, each school pursuing its own method which helps in the development of analytical skills, character and overall personality in a child.  The secondary schools are state-managed. It has common curricula having a rationale in its syllabus. It help child to adapt more skills and knowledge. The Higher Secondary functions at three levels: the State-level, the CBSE and the ICSE. The texts are framed by scholarly experts selected by the NCERT or State text book committees. It helps in choosing the future of the child.

  1. Role of SSA(Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan)

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan aims to bridge social, regional and gender gaps, with the active participation of the community in the management of schools. All efforts to support pre-school learning in ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) centers or special pre-school centers in non ICDS areas are made to supplement the efforts of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Targets which were set for SSA were:

  • All children in school, Education Guarantee Centre, Alternate School or ‘Back-to-School’ camp by 2003.
  • All children complete five years of primary schooling by 2007.
  • Children complete eight years of elementary schooling by 2010.
  • Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life.
  • Bridge all gender and social category gaps at the primary stage by 2007 and at the elementary education level by 2010.
  • Universal retention by 2010. (, 2012)

The role of private sector in SSA is also very important and helping the country to reach our goal. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is being administered through government and government aided schools, some private unaided schools are also actively involved in contributing towards universal elementary education. This shows that only government cannot reach to the goals, help of private sector is also necessary. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a valuable endeavour of the Government of India, in the universalization of elementary education, which strives to help citizens to realise the importance of elementary education. Social justice and equity are by themselves a strong argument for providing basic education for all. Provision of basic education also improves the standard of living, especially with regard to life expectancy, infant mortality and nutritional status of children. (, 2012)

About the Author

Pranjali DigheMs. Pranjali Dighe is currently pursuing her Masters at Centre for Studies in Social Management, Central University of Gujarat. She has been associated with reputed government institutes like GIDR (Gujarat Institute of Development Research). She is currently associated with GEMI (Gujarat Environmental Institute), Government of Gujarat as an intern. She has extensively worked on issues of women health. Her current research areas include women empowerment, inclusion of marginalized population in mainstream development. She has presented and written papers in international journals and conferences. Currently, she is interning with the Model Governance Foundation.

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