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NIPUN Bharat deadline extended

Context:

The Centre’s new mission to ensure that every Class 3 child has foundational literacy and numeracy within five years could be rolled out in 2021.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Issues related to Education, Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Initiatives, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of schemes)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About NIPUN Bharat Mission
  2. Why was the NIPUN Bharat Scheme needed?
  3. Samagra Shiksha Scheme

About NIPUN Bharat Mission

  • National Initiative for Proficiency in reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) is a scheme to ensure that every child achieves desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by end of Grade 3, by the year 2026-27 – to provide an enabling environment in a bid to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy.
  • The NIPUN Bharat Mission is a part of school education programme, Samagra Shiksha.
  • NIPUN Bharat initiative will be implemented by school education department of Union government and to implement it, a five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at national, state, district, block, and school levels across all states and Union territories.
  • No additional funding is being allocated for the mission. Instead, money is being allocated from the Samagra Shiksha scheme, which saw a 20% drop in its budget in 2021.
  • So far, the goal has simply been to enrol children in school, and then to ensure that they finish Class 10. This mission specifies stage-wise learning goals to ensure that students are acquiring the necessary building blocks.
  • The NIPUN Bharat strategy includes changes in curriculum and teaching methods to include more activity, art and story-telling, creation of print-rich materials and resources, teacher training, and stress-free assessment methods in order to reach these goals.
  • NIPUN Bharat also emphasises the importance of using a child’s mother tongue in teaching, a principle of the National Education Policy 2020, which received some criticism.

Recent Developments

  • Although the National Education Policy had included a 2025 deadline to achieve the goal, the Centre has pushed back the target date to 2026-27, given that COVID-19 has already disrupted two academic years.
  • A National Achievement Survey of Class 3 students to be conducted this November will set a baseline to track future progress.

Why was the NIPUN Bharat Scheme needed?

  • Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) found that less than 30% of Class 3 students could read at Class 2 level or do double digit subtraction in 2018.
  • ASER report in 2020 found that only 25% of school-going children in four to eight age group do not have age-appropriate cognitive and numeracy skills. Thus, there is a huge learning deficit at very early stage.

Samagra Shiksha Scheme

  • Samagra Shiksha is an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
  • The Scheme is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and the fund sharing pattern for the scheme between Centre and States is at present in the ratio of 90:10 for the North-Eastern States and the Himalayan States and 60:40 for all other States and Union Territories with Legislatures and 100% centrally sponsored for Union Territories without Legislature.
  • It subsumes the three Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
  • The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from pre-school to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Education.
  • The main emphasis of the Scheme is on improving the quality of school education by focussing on the two T’s – Teacher and Technology.

The major objectives of the Scheme are

  • Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students;
  • Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education;
  • Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education;
  • Ensuring minimum standards in schooling provisions;
  • Promoting Vocationalisation of education;
  • Support States in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; and
  • Strengthening and up-gradation of SCERTs/State Institutes of Education and DIET as a nodal agencies for teacher training.

-Source: The Hindu

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