Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE)


The Government has planned a major initiative to achieve universal primary education over the next seven years under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. The scheme envisages community owned schools in which all children between the ages of 6 and 14 years would be enrolled by the year 2003 to complete four to five years of schooling by the year 2007.
A significant difference between this scheme and the previous attempts to push universal primary education is the idea of community-owned schools. This would make those who run the schools as well as the teachers di-rectly responsible to the community they serve. The Government also plans a special push in areas where female illiteracy is significantly
high.

- Plan for universal primary education, Hindu, 17/11/2000, /eldoc/n21_/17nov00h1.pdf

Education and Girls UEE Govt Initiatives
Now the administration has embarked on an ambitious Rs 35 crore primary school education pro-gramme where the focus is on enrolment of every child. It has also identified areas where schools need to be opened... Girls are being given books and three kg of rice is offered as an incentive every month for attendance in primary schools. The state govern-ment already pays Rs 150 to every child every year under the IRDP but this is not given to failed students.
 In the more prosperous village of Kota, down the valley from Pab, Baldev Singh, a ninth standard drop-out, said it was more profitable for him to learn to be a farmer. However, he works for a local NGO and imparts non-formal education to children between the ages of 6 to 14.  Madan Sharma who runs Social Action for Rural Develop-ment (SARDA), an NGO in Kaffota village, said, " Earlier, when we tried to send children to school, we did not succeed. Now with the government incentive of three kg rice per child, children are going to schools since the rice is given on the basis of attendance."
Kuldeep Verma, of People's Action for People in Need (PAPN), an NGO based in Andheri village in Sangrah tehsil, works in the areas of education, vocational train-ing and NFE. He said women were seldom sent to school and it was only in 1994 that the first girl.

"Mostly girls do not study after metric. However, some did opt for teacher training in the primary school," he said. The school in Andheri is upto the 10th standard and children have, to go to Sangrah for higher secondary and to Nahan for further studies.
In Jablog village nearby, a young girl said,"What is the use of studying. We thought the literacy mission would get us somewhere but nothing has changed. We have so much work where is the time to study? What will one do with all this learning anyway. If we study too much, it is difficult for us to get married."
PAPN imparts skills like tailoring to girls so that they can fall back on it in times of need. "We believe that learning a skill will at least postpone the marriage-able age of the girls," Mr Verma said.

An India Today report dated October 13, 1997, quoting a PROBE study spoke about how Himachal Pradesh has succeeded in pepping up its literacy rate. The article said, "Not so long ago, Himachal Pradesh was considered a back-ward region of north India. In 1951, child literacy rates were as low as in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. Today the figure stands at about 95 per cent (Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE) estimates), closing in on that of Kerala, India's only fully liter-ate state. A survey of 48 randomly se-lected villages in Himachal Pradesh, by the PROBE team in late 1996, found that 97 per cent of the children between six and 12 were going to school. Universal pri-mary education in the state is only a few years away. How did Himachal Pradesh succeed where its immediate neighbours have failed so abysmally? Part of the credit goes to the state government. Per capita expenditure on education in Himachal  Pradesh is twice as high as the all-India average. The number of teachers per pu-pil is also twice as high. For every one teacher there are 25 pupils in Himachal Pradesh.

Primary schooling is considered as im-portant for girls as for boys... "Finally, Himachal Pradesh appears to have a co-operative social environment. In many survey villages, parents offered shramdaan (voluntary labour) to improve the school building. Most villages have active panchayats and mahila mandals, which are sometimes involved in educa-tional matters. The rapport between parents and teachers too seems to be better in Himachal Pradesh than in the other states covered by PROBE." Press reports said that Himachal Pradesh is all set for universalisation of primary education and concerted efforts are being made to provide a primary school at a dis-tance of less than every 1.5 km, according to the chief minister, Vir Bhadra Singh. The government is proposing 1,100 new middle schools over the next three years to achieve the goal of universalisation of 'elementary education by the turn of the century. About 1,400 new primary schools have been opened in the last two years and 700 more are to be opened in the current financial year. Last year alone, nearly 1,000 educational institutions were opened, taking  the total number to 12,500 which in-cluded three universities, medical colleges, a dental college, a regional engineering college and Post graduate and degree colleges.

- Where the Mind Is Without Fear..., Meena Menon, Humanscape, 01/12/1997, /eldoc/n00_/01dec97HUS4.pdf

UEE SSA

 The Government has planned a major initiative to achieve universal primary education over the next seven
years under the Sarva Shiksha Ab-hiyan scheme. The scheme envisages community- owned schools in which all
children between the ages of 6 and 14 years would be enrolled by the year 2003 to complete four to five years of schooling by the year 2007.
A significant difference between this scheme and the previous attempts to push universal primary education is the idea of community-owned schools. This would make those who run the schools as well as the teachers directly responsible to the community they serve. The Government also plans a special push in areas where female illiteracy is significantly
high.

- Plan for universal primary education, Hindu, 17/11/2000, /eldoc/n21_/17nov00h1.pdf

GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE JOINT VENTURE
UEE
A joint initiative aimed at the universalisation of primary education has been launched by the State Government and the Azim Premji Foundation. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) giving effect to the initiative was signed at a simple function here today. The Chief Minister, Mr. S.M. Krishna, signed the MoU on behalf of the State Government, while the Wipro Chairman, Mr. Azim Premji, signed on behalf of the foundation. The initiative will ensure that every child in the State goes to school. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Premji said the State had 1.2 million children who were not going to school at present. There were 59 million such children in the country, he said and expressed happiness that the State Government had taken the lead in accomplishing this enormous task of ensuring primary education for all.
The thrust would be on the mobilisation of communities in villages identified under the initiative. The foundation had already begun collaborating with the Government in implementing the initiative in 1,300 villages in Kolar and Mandya districts. The scheme to ensure universal primary education would be launched in seven districts of northern Karnataka Mr. Krishna lauded the initiative as an epoch-making one in bringing about a qualitative change in primary education, and said right from the first day in office he had identified primary education and primary health as areas where the Government would be pro-active. The Government was willing to bring about a private-public partnership initiative to ensure that the needs of the people were met.

- Initiative on universal primary education, Hindu, 13/06/2001, /eldoc/n21_/13jun01h1.pdf

Government and private joint venture UEE

  Every child in Bangalore will be in school by 2003 if an ambitious corporate-government- voluntary movement is successful. The scheme was announced recently by ICICI chairman N. Vaghul, who is also a member of the board of trustees of Akshara Foundation. The inspiration to set up the foundation, a charitable trust, came from the work of a Mumbai-based voluntary organisation, Pratham, in the field of literacy "The aim is to ensure that every child in Bangalore is in school and learning by the end of 2003," Vaghul said. "I see no reason why we can't have 100. per cent literacy in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to begin with," Vaghul said.

- Joint sector boost to literacy, Telegraph, 11/06/2001, /eldoc/n21_/11jun01tel2.pdf


Literacy UEE
While there are significant differences between children attending government schools and private schools, in both cases the situation is far from satisfactory. Close to half of all school-going children in the age group seven to 10 cannot read a simple sentence fluently or correctly write an easy sentence dictated to them.
 
About two-third of the children in this age group could not solve a simple subtraction problem. Among the older children who were still attending school, one out of 10 could not read a sentence, close to 20 per cent could not write an easy, dictated sentence and a third could not still solve subtraction problems.
 
Interestingly, when we look at learning levels, districts that have done well in terms of enrollment, have good school infrastructure and reasonable student-teacher ratios do not look different from districts that have a poorer performance on enrollment.
 
For instance, in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu where the enrollment figures are relatively high and no girls between seven and 14 are out of school, 69 per cent of children between nine and 10 were not able to read sentences fluently or solve simple subtraction problems.
 
In Gurgaon in Haryana, where the enrollment rate is lower and 25 per cent of the girls between 11 and 14 were out of school, 53 per cent of the nine- to 10-year-olds could not do simple subtraction or read fluently.
 
The data here suggests that while some states and districts may be making good progress towards universalising enrollment and completion of the elementary stage of education, much greater attention needs to be paid to children’s learning.
 
Even in Kerala, where the enrollment rate one of the highest, basic skills in writing and arithmetic need considerable improvements.
 
A child completing primary schooling must at least be guaranteed durable literacy and numeracy skills. Schools must generate this and citizens must hold schools accountable for achieving this basic goal.

- In school, but hardly learning, Rukmini Banerji, Business Std, 10/02/2005, /eldoc/n21_/10feb05BSB1.html

UEE SSA- good

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.
- Universalising elementary education, K. VENKATASUBRAMANIAN, Hindu, 02/11/2003,
 /eldoc/n21_/02nov03h6.html


Govt Schemes and progs

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

Edu and Social Change UEE
It is quite unthinkable that we achieve a leadership posi-tion in the global market, and yet we cannot quickly get our act to-gether and universalise elementary education in the country. The need to universalise elementary educa-tion
is critical as a number of stud-ies have revealed that basic educa-tion has a direct positive impact on a number of social and economic indicators like population stabilisa-tion, healthcare and sanitation, law and order, employment, productiv-ity, GDP, economic growth and the opportunity to make informed choices for each citizen leading to the practice of true democracy in our country.
- A Learning Experience A Child's Right to Education, AZIM PREMJI, Times of India, 09/12/2000, /eldoc/n21_/09dec00toi1.pdf

Literacy UEE
While there are significant differences between children attending government schools and private schools, in both cases the situation is far from satisfactory. Close to half of all school-going children in the age group seven to 10 cannot read a simple sentence fluently or correctly write an easy sentence dictated to them.
 
About two-third of the children in this age group could not solve a simple subtraction problem. Among the older children who were still attending school, one out of 10 could not read a sentence, close to 20 per cent could not write an easy, dictated sentence and a third could not still solve subtraction problems.
 
Interestingly, when we look at learning levels, districts that have done well in terms of enrollment, have good school infrastructure and reasonable student-teacher ratios do not look different from districts that have a poorer performance on enrollment.
 
For instance, in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu where the enrollment figures are relatively high and no girls between seven and 14 are out of school, 69 per cent of children between nine and 10 were not able to read sentences fluently or solve simple subtraction problems.
 
In Gurgaon in Haryana, where the enrollment rate is lower and 25 per cent of the girls between 11 and 14 were out of school, 53 per cent of the nine- to 10-year-olds could not do simple subtraction or read fluently.
 
The data here suggests that while some states and districts may be making good progress towards universalising enrollment and completion of the elementary stage of education, much greater attention needs to be paid to children’s learning.
 
Even in Kerala, where the enrollment rate one of the highest, basic skills in writing and arithmetic need considerable improvements.
 
A child completing primary schooling must at least be guaranteed durable literacy and numeracy skills. Schools must generate this and citizens must hold schools accountable for achieving this basic goal.

- In school, but hardly learning, Rukmini Banerji, Business Std, 10/02/2005, /eldoc/n21_/10feb05BSB1.html

When the Constitution was en-shrined. Article 45 specifically di-rected the state to endeavour to provide free education for all children up to the age of 14 by the year 1960. Unfortunately, Article 45 was in the directive principles of state policy section of our Constitution, which is non-justiciable in the courts of law. Therefore, over the last four decades, we were given reasons like resource crunch and lack of political will for non-achievement of UEE.
The oft-repeated resource crunch problem was demystified when the Union cabinet appointed a group of experts to estimate the financial re-quirement for UEE in India. In ab-solute terms, the figures quoted in this recent 1999 report may appear gigantic (Rs 1,36,822 crore to be precise for the age group six-14 )...However, when expressed as a per-centage of national income, the fig-ures become achievable. For e.g., this figure means spending an aver-age additional only 0.7 per cent of the GDP over the next 10 years. Financial resource (like legisla-tion) is a necessary condition for UEE, not a sufficient one.

- Make the Grade, SANJIV KAURA, Times of India, 06/01/2001, /eldoc/n21_/06jan01toi1.pdf

UEE General Critique
- Water, fuel, then school, P V Indiresan, Economic Times, 08/01/1994,  /eldoc/n00_/08jan94et1.pdf

UNESCO UEE General Critique
Education and new vision of world, Link, 19/12/1993, /eldoc/n00_/19dec93lnk1.pdf

Generalk Critique EFA UEE
- Putting power into education, Praful Bidwai, Deccan Herald, 13/12/1993, /eldoc/n00_/13dec93dch1.pdf

- If education is expensive, try ignorance, Sanjiv Kaura, Economic Times 5/09/01, /eldoc/n21_/05sep01et1.pdf


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Reports:

- India Education Report, Govinda, R, Oxford University Press, 01/01/2002, N21.G.1.R

- Lokshala Project For Universalisation of Elementary Education - Demonstrating an Alternative Vision, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, 01/03/1995, R.N21.23

- Towards Universal Primary Education, One World South Asia, 01/11/2004, R.N21.46


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Books:

- Universalisation of School Education the road ahead..., Niranjanaradhya V P, Books for Change, 01/01/2004, B.N21.N3

- Education for the Millenium, Ed. Varghese Alengaden, Satprachar Press, 2000, BN00.A61

- Crisis in Primary Education: Social Work Perspective, Ageira, Benedicta Leonilla, Y.K. Publishers, 01/01/1996, B.N21.A2


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Websites:

http://delhiplanning.nic.in/ecosurvey.htm