On realising that a good portion of the kids in the country find it difficult to access secondary education, the Government of India launched the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan. In the future, the scheme might be renamed after the former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. The RMSA not only focuses on funding secondary education for children hailing from the backward classes of society, it aims to improve facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, toilets, provide hostels and so on. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The Government of India funds 75% of the project in each state and each state bears the remaining 25% of the funding, though some backward states only have to fund 10% towards the project. The total budget that has been allocated for the “five-year plan” of the project has amounted to Rs.2,012 billion.
Objectives of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
- The primary objective of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan is to improve how secondary education is imparted to students. Improving the quality and making all secondary education schools conform to the standards is the aim.
- Focus on imparting education to girls across the country. The stand out objective of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan is to impart education to students irrespective of their social background, gender and disability.
- By the end of the five-year plan drafted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, it aims to provide universal access to secondary education.
- By 2020, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan aims at having universal retention.
How the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan has had an impact on secondary education
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has brought about certain quality standards and has made several improvements for secondary education institutions. They made it mandatory that all secondary education institutions incorporate certain changes. Some of these changes include:
- Most schools in backward states and across the country have limited amount of classrooms, resulting in students studying in cramped environments. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan scheme is focused on increasing the amount of classrooms for students.
- Making sure that every secondary education institute has a laboratory to impart science education through experiments. Thereby, increasing the interest in students on such topics.
- To improve the way literature is imparted to students, libraries at all these schools have been set up. By doing so, they have given students the opportunity to access subjects of literature, science, history and other subjects that would cater to their interests.
- Bringing out the creativity of children with dedicated arts and crafts rooms.
- Installing toilet blocks for students.
- Providing proper drinking water facilities for children such as purifiers, dispensers and so on.
- For teachers who are willing to go to the extent of educating students in remote areas, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has set up hostels for them.
Key areas of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
Since the National Policy on Education (NPE) in 1986, there hasn’t been any amends with regard to the structure and organisation of secondary education till the launch of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. The whole point of launching the scheme was to cover certain areas that secondary education in the country hasn’t till date, and improve the overall quality and the way education is structured and organised, thereby leading to the vocational formation in each child. Some the the key areas the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan covered are:
- The curriculum that is set for the children for the year should be focused on vocationalism and allow children to branch into subjects they are interested in, and allow them to take up employment-oriented courses.
- Encourage students to opt for open-learning courses, where they can choose the subjects of their choice.
- Free education for girl children and offering them free hostel facilities.
- Integrated education for the disabled, making them an integral part of society.
- Including the private sectors to manage the education system. As of now, NGOs and private sector organisations manage 58% of higher secondary schools and 51% of secondary schools in the country.
- Spread awareness on the need for secondary education for students through multimedia and contact-centers. Through these platforms, students who are underprivileged can come in contact with the scheme and enroll themselves.
- Improving the content quality of subjects such as science, environmental education, mathematics, computers, etc.
- Revision of the curriculum every few years to review and judge if the course material is still apt or a subject of the past.
- Training for teachers with regard to their attitude and how they approach children. Periodical tests to make sure that they are fit for the job.
- Free education, transport and specialized requirements for the disabled.
- Familiarizing students with Information Technology (IT), a crucial subject in today’s world. Offering financial support for the computer education of the interested child.
- Shift of emphasis with regard to people’s attitude towards social-backgrounds, religion and gender. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan focuses on involving children hailing from the SC/ST tribes and from the backward classes of society.
- Making required analysis such as gross enrollment ratio (GER), net enrollment ratio (NER), retention rate, dropout rate, gender gap and the gender parity index (GPI). With the given analysis, the government will make amends to appeal to the children.
- Assessing the factors that affect the education of a child from backward classes and tribes.
Funding of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
The funding for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan is done by the the Ministry of Human Resource Development and is directly transferred to each state in the country. The Ministry of Human Resource Development covers 75% of the cost towards improving secondary education in each state and 25% of the cost has to be beared by the state. For certain northeastern states and Sikkim, the funding from their part has been reduced to 10%.
Overall, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan has made tremendous improvements in the secondary education in the country. It has not only improved the quality of education in the country, it has reduced the gender gap, as more girls through this have enrolled themselves in secondary education courses. Since the initiation of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, 10,000 schools offering secondary education have been approved, 16,000 plus classrooms have been built for secondary education schools under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and 8,000 plus laboratories in these schools have been set up. With regard to computer rooms, 6,900 plus computer rooms have been built to promote Information Technology and the nuances of computers, 10,000 plus libraries have been set up in these schools, and 12,000 plus art and craft rooms have been built with another 9,000 rooms in progress. 7,000 drinking water facilities have been set up in secondary schools across the country, 5,500 plus teacher’s hostels have been built and over 2,000 schools requiring major repairs have been seen to. With all these stats in place, and constantly increasing by the day, one can say that the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan has increased the overall quality of secondary education in the country, made it more accessible to students hailing from underprivileged backgrounds, and has very well set a standard that secondary schools have to conform to.
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