Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA): Secondary Education is a crucial stage in the educational hierarchy as it prepares the students for higher education and also for the world of work. Classes IX and X constitute the secondary stage, whereas classes XI and XII are designated as the higher secondary stage. The normal age group of the children in secondary classes is 14-16 whereas it is 16-18 for higher secondary classes. The rigor of the secondary and higher secondary stage, enables Indian students to compete successfully for education and for jobs globally. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to strengthen this stage by providing greater access and also by improving quality in a significant way.
RMSA SCHEME FOR UNIVERSALISATION OF ACCESS TO AND IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY AT THE SECONDARY AND HIGHER SECONDARY STAGE
The Government of India has launched, in Mach, 2009 with the objective to enhance to secondary education and to improve its quality. The implementation of the scheme start from 2009-10.Secondary Education is the link between elementary education and higher education and the new programme called Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) aims at bridging the wide gaps between elementary and higher education.
The vision for secondary education is to make good quality education available, accessible and affordable to all young persons in the age group of 14-18 years. With this vision in mind, the following is to be achieved:
- To provide a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation, which should be 5 kilometer for secondary schools and 7 -10 kilometers for higher secondary schools.
- Ensure universal access of secondary education by 2017 (GER of 100%), and
- Universal retention by 2020,
- Providing access to secondary education with special references to economically weaker sections of the society, the educationally backward, the girls and the disabled children residing in rural areas and other marginalized categories like SC, ST, OBC and Educationally Backward Minorities (EBM).
Goal and Objectives: In order to meet the challenge of Universalisation of Secondary Education (USE), there is a need for a paradigm shift in the conceptual design of secondary education. The guiding principles in this regard are; Universal Access, Equality and Social Justice, Relevance and Development and Curricular and Structural Aspects. Universalisation of Secondary Education gives opportunity, to move towards equity. The concept of ‘common school’ will be encouraged. If these values are to be established in the system, all types of schools, including unaided private schools will also contribute towards Universalisation of Secondary Education (USE) by ensuring adequate enrolments for the children from under privileged society and the children Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
- To ensure that all secondary schools have physical facilities, staffs and supplies at least according to the prescribed standards through financial support in case of Government/ Local Body and Government aided schools, and appropriate regulatory mechanism in the case of other schools.
- To improve access to secondary schooling to all young persons according to norms – through proximate location (say, Secondary Schools within 5 kms, and Higher Secondary Schools within 7-10 kms) / efficient and safe transport arrangements/residential facilities, depending on local circumstances including open schooling. However in hilly and difficult areas, these norms can be relaxed. Preferably residential schools may be set up in such areas.
- To ensure that no child is deprived of secondary education of satisfactory quality due to gender, socio-economic, disability and other barriers.
- To improve quality of secondary education resulting in enhanced intellectual, social and cultural learning.
- To ensure that all students pursuing secondary education receive education of good quality
- Achievement of the above objectives would also, inter-alia, signify substantial progress in the direction of the Common School System.
Approach and Strategy for Secondary Stage
1. In the context of Universalisation of Secondary Education (USE), large-scale inputs in terms of additional schools, additional classrooms, teachers and other facilities need to be provided to meet the challenge of numbers, credibility and quality. It inter-alia requires assessment/ provision of educational needs, physical infrastructure, human resource, academic inputs and effective monitoring of implementation of the programmes. The scheme will initially cover upto class X. Subsequently, the higher secondary stage will also be taken up, preferably within two years of the implementation.
The strategy for universalizing access to secondary education and improving its quality are as under:1. Access There is a wide disparity in schooling facilities in different regions of the country. There are disparities among the private schools and between private and government schools. For providing universal access to quality secondary education, it is imperative that specially designed broad norms are developed at the national level and provision may be made for each State/UT keeping in mind the geographical, socio-cultural, linguistic and demographic condition of not just the State/UT but also, wherever necessary, of the locality. The norms for secondary schools should be generally comparable to those of Kendriya Vidyalayas. Development of the infrastructure facilities and Learning Resources will be carried out in following ways,
- Expansion/ Strategy of existing Secondary Schools & Higher Secondary Schools shift in existing schools.
- Up gradation of Upper Primary Schools based on micro planning exercise with all necessary infrastructure facilities and teachers. Ashram Schools will be given preference while upgrading upper primary schools.
- Up gradation of Secondary Schools in Higher Secondary Schools based upon the requirements.
- Opening of new Secondary Schools/ Higher Secondary Schools in unserved areas bas on the school mapping exercise. All these buildings will have mandatory water harvesting system and will be disabled friendly.
- Rain harvesting systems will be installed in existing school buildings also.
- Existing school buildings will also be made disabled friendly.
- New schools will also be set up in PPP mode.
- Providing required infrastructure like, Black Board, furniture, Libraries, Science & Mathematics laboratories, computer labs, toilet cluster.
- Appointment of additional teachers and in-service training of teachers.
- Bridge course for enhancing learning ability for students passing out of class VIII.
- Reviewing curriculum to meet the NCF, 2005 norms.
- Residential accommodation for teachers in rural and difficult hilly areas.Preference will be given to accommodation for female teachers.
- Free lodging/ boarding facilities for students belonging to SC,ST,OBC and minority communities
- Hostels/ residential schools, cash incentive, uniform, books, separate toilets for girls.
- Providing scholarships to meritorious/ needy students at secondary level.
- Inclusive education will be the hallmark of all the activities. Efforts will be made to provide all necessary facilities for the differently abled children in all the schools.
- Expansion of Open and Distance Learning needs to be undertaken, especially for those who cannot pursue full time secondary education, and for supplementation / enrichment of face-to-face instruction. This system will also play a crucial role for education of out of school children.
4. Institutional Reforms and Strengthening of Resource Institutions Making necessary administrative reforms in each State will be a precondition for Central assistance. These Institutional reforms include,
- Reforms in school governance- Improve schools’ performance by decentralizing their management and accountability.
- Adopting a rational policy of teacher recruitment, deployment, training, remuneration and career advancement;
- Undertaking reforms in educational administration including modernization / e-governance and delegation / de-centralization;
- Provision of necessary professional and academic inputs in the secondary education system at all levels, i.e., from the school level upwards; and
- Streamlining financial procedures for speedy flow of funds and their optimal utilization.
- Necessary strengthening of resource institutions at, various levels, e.g.,NCERT (including RIEs), NIEPA and NIOS, at the national level;SCERTs, State Open Schools, SIEMATs, etc., at the State level; and University Departments of Education, Reputed Institutions of Science / Social Science / Humanities Education, and Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) / Institutions of Advanced Study in Education (IASEs) funded under the Centrally-sponsored Scheme of Teacher Education.
5. Involvement of Panchayati Raj and Municipal Bodies, Community, Teachers, Parents and other stakeholders in the management of Secondary Education, through bodies like School Management Committees and Parent – Teacher Associations will be ensured in planning process, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
6. Central Government operates four Centrally Sponsored Schemes i.e.
(i) ICT@ schools for providing assistance to State Governments for computer education and computer aided education in secondary and higher secondary schools,
(ii) Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) for assisting State Governments and NGOs in main streaming the disabled children in school education,
(iii) Strengthening of Boarding and Hostel facilities for Girl Students of Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools (Access and Equity) for providing assistance to NGOs to run Girls’ Hostels in the rural areas, and
(iv) Quality improvement in schools which included provision of assistance to State Governments for introduction of Yoga, for improvement of Science education in schools, for environment education and for population education in addition to supporting International Science Olympiads. All these schemes, in the present or modified forms, will subsume in the new Scheme.
(v) provision for earning while learning for financially weaker children by preparing them for self employment or part-time employment. States/UTs may establish vocational training centers (VTC) and institutions at the block, district levels.
7. Number of Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas will be increased in view of their importance as pace-setting schools, and strengthening their role.