National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Education (NPEGEL). The National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), is a focussed intervention of Government of India, to reach the “Hardest to Reach” girls, especially those not in school. Launched in July 2003, it is an important component of SSA, which provides additional support for enhancing girl’s education over and above the investments for girl’s education through normal SSA interventions.
The programme provides for the development of a “model school” in every cluster with more intense community mobilization and supervision of girls enrolment in schools. Gender sensitisation of teachers, development of gender-sensitive learning materials, and provision of need-based incentives like escorts, stationery, workbooks and uniforms are some of the endeavours under the programme.
The scheme is being implemented in educationally backward blocks (EBBs) where the level of rural female literacy is less than the national average and the gender gap is above the national average; in blocks of districts which are not covered under EBBs but are having at least 5% SC/ST population and where SC/ST female literacy is below 10%; and also in select urban slums.
About 3272 educationally backward blocks are covered under the Scheme in the 24 States of Assam, Haveli Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal Meghalaya, West Bengal and one UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Under NPEGEL, around 35,254 Model cluster schools have been opened, 25,537 ECCE centres are being supported, 24,394 additional classrooms have been constructed, and 1.85 lakh teachers have been given training on gender sensitisation, remedial teaching to 9.67 lakh girls, bridge course covering 1.53 lakh girls, including additional incentives like uniforms etc. to about 71.46 lakh girls (upto 31st December 2007). An outlay of Rs.708.44 crore was approved under NPEGEL for 2007-08.
The ‘National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)’ as a component of the scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
1. BACKGROUND: The Government has approved a new programme called ‘National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)’ as an amendment to the scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for providing additional components for the education of girls at the elementary level. The NPEGEL will form part of SSA and will be implemented under the umbrella of SSA but with a distinct identity.
The scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was started in the year 2001-02 with the objective of universalisation of elementary education. It is an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children including the girl child, through the provision of community-owned quality education in a mission mode. However, as SSA has limited financial provisions for girls’ education in the form of “innovations” at the district level and free textbooks, and thus there is a need for an additional component.
Accordingly, NPEGEL has been formulated for the education of underprivileged/disadvantaged girls from class I to VIII as a separate and distinct gender component plan of SSA. The gender component is necessary to achieve UEE for girls in educationally backward areas.
2. SCOPE :
1. The scheme would be applicable in the following areas :
(a) Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs): EBB means a block where the level of rural female literacy is less than the national average and the gender gap is above the national average. Also, all blocks in 13 districts of Jammu & Kashmir, which qualify by this definition and were not covered by the 1991 census will be covered. A list of States with such districts/blocks is at Appendix.I.
(b) Blocks of districts which have at least 5% SC/ ST population and SC/ ST female literacy rate below 10% shall also be taken up under this programme
(c) Selected urban slums.
2. Once the data for the 2001 Census becomes available, selection of blocks under (a), (b) and (c) above may be modified according to the new Census data. States would be competent to change the blocks in light of the 2001 Census, keeping the definition in view and after getting the consent of GOI.
A. Mobilisation for girls education, including community, teachers, NGOs, etc. This is to be a process-oriented programme, where community ownership and the basket of components must evolve with local participation.
B. A basket of components has been provided for in the scheme, however, all blocks would not take up all activities. The projects should be based on the conditions of that block and should specifically target the following:
- Out of school girls
- Dropouts girls
- Overage girls, who have not completed elementary education
- Working girls
- Girls from marginalised social groups.
- Girls with low attendance
- Girls with low levels of achievement
C. Development of material including teaching-learning material, CDs, films and other material, helping in the review/ development of textbooks, development of guidelines for incorporation of gender concerns, development/ compilation of supplementary reading material for girls, including life skills, which would provide the support needed for girls’ education.
4. OBJECTIVES :
1. There exists a significant gender gap in enrolment at the elementary level, which is more acute for schedule caste and scheduled tribe girls, for whom the gender gap is almost 30% at the primary level and 26% at the upper primary stage. The reduction of this gender gap has now plateaued and further reduction would require a concerted focus on the hard to reach groups. Therefore, it is necessary to include certain interventions addressing the specific needs of girl children. The objectives of NPEGEL are:
(a) to develop and promote facilities to provide access and to facilitate retention of girls and to ensure greater participation of women and girls in the field of education
(b) to improve the quality of education through various interventions and to stress upon the relevance and quality of girls’ education for their empowerment
5. FOCUS :
1. The focus of NPEGEL will be as follows:
(a) To strengthen the capacity of National, State and district institutions and organisations for planning, management and evaluation of girls’ education at the elementary level, and create a dynamic management structure that will be able to respond to the challenges of girls’ education;
(b) To develop innovative gender sensitisation/training programmes, with the assistance of concerned organisations and women’ s groups, for teachers and administrators and create an environment whereby all the sections of the education sector will become alive and sensitive to the role of education in eliminating gender disparities;
(c) To initiate networking between different institutions for research, extension and information dissemination to increase the output of gender-sensitive, quality teaching-learning material especially in regional languages, and decentralised area-specific models of intervention;
(d) To gear the entire education system to play a positive interventionist role to enhance self-esteem and self-confidence of women and girls; build a positive image of women by recognising their contribution to the society, polity and the economy.
(e) To break gender stereotypes, ensuring that the content and process of education is sensitive to gender concerns.
(f) To provide coordinated efforts, to ensure necessary support services to enhance girls’ participation and performance in elementary education.
(g) To build community support for girls’ education and provide a conducive environment for girls’ education in the school, community and home; and
(h) To ensure that girls get good quality education at the elementary level.
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