Standard of Primary Education



Standard of Primary Education

The Central Government has taken several steps to improve the quality of primary education. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conduct periodic national surveys of learning achievement of children in classes – III and V of the primary stage. Four rounds of National Achievement Surveys (NAS) have been conducted so far for class V whereas three rounds have been conducted for class III. These reveal improvement in learning achievement levels of pupils, in various subjects.


Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the State Governments and UT Administrations are supported on several interventions to improve teaching standards, including regular in-service teachers’ training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, training of all untrained teachers to acquire professional qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode, recruitment of additional teachers for better pupil-teacher ratios, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, continuous and comprehensive evaluation system to equip the teacher to measure pupil performance and provide remedial action wherever required, and teacher and school grants for development of appropriate teaching-learning materials, etc.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 specifies statutory duties and responsibilities of teachers and lays down the minimum qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in elementary schools.

The Central Government through SSA has supported States/UTs on early grade reading, writing & comprehension, and early Mathematics programmes through a sub-programme namely ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ in classes I and II.

Further the Government has launched ‘Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan’ (RAA) programme on 09.07.2015, inter alia, as a sub-component of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), to motivate and engage children of the age group from 6-18 years in Science, Mathematics and Technology through observation, experimentation, inference drawing, model building, etc. both through inside and outside classroom activities.

The Central Government has launched the ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching’ in December, 2014 with a vision to comprehensively address all issues related to teachers, teaching, teacher preparation, professional development, curriculum design, research in pedagogy and developing effective pedagogy.

A World Bank Report on “Student Learning in South Asia – Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Priorities”, in 2014, highlights that South Asia has made considerable progress in improving access to education but faces a major quality challenge in primary and secondary education. The Report emphasises on investing in education quality and that policies to improve student learning outcomes should be embedded within a larger agenda of inclusive growth and governance reform. For India specifically, the report points out that both Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 have led to impressive increases in enrolment, school infrastructure, provision of trained teachers, free textbooks and ensuring access to elementary schools even in rural areas. The Report points out that overall student achievement is low and the policies to promote equity in education need to focus on reducing the large and growing learning gaps between poor and better-off children.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2014 brought out annually by “Pratham”, a non-governmental organisation has expressed concern regarding learning levels of children in English reading and Mathematics at elementary level. It also presents certain positive findings, including the fact that 96% of children in the 6 to 14 age group are enrolled in schools in rural areas and that the percentage of out-of-school children in the 6-14 age group is at 3.3% in 2014, the same as the figure last year. It has also found steady improvement in school infrastructure.

As per UNESCO EFA global Monitoring Report- 2015 India made marked progress, increasing its net enrolment ratio significantly as GNP per capita improved, suggesting a more equitable distribution of economic gains.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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Universal Quality Education to Children

The Government is in the process of framing a New Education Policy (NEP) for meeting the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry; for which it has carried out nearly year-long consultations. The 33 identified themes across both the sectors on which inputs and suggestions were invited cover a spectrum of varied issues and challenges in education relating to access, quality of teaching and teachers, inclusion, skill development, employability etc.

A multi-pronged and multi-stakeholder consultative process was undertaken which included online, grassroots and national level deliberations. At the grassroots level, consultations spanned across Gram Panchayats, Blocks, Urban Local Bodies, Districts and States/Union Territories.

A number of consultations have been held with stakeholder Ministries in the Govt. of India and also with the State Governments. MHRD held thematic consultations through Apex level institutions and regulators, such as, UGC, AICTE, NCTE, AIU, NCERT, CBSE, IIAS, NLMA, NAAC, NUEPA, IGNOU and Central Universities by inviting all relevant stakeholders including experts, academics, industry representatives, civil society etc.

Field practitioner engagement through the UN Solutions Exchange platform, online survey by CBSE with over 15000 responses, youth survey and focus group discussions covering 6017 youth by Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO Category-I Institute in Asia Pacific were conducted as part of the public engagement.

Several themes under School Education address issues related to providing universal quality education to the children like “Ensuring Learning Outcomes in Elementary Education”, “Revamping Teacher Education for Quality Teachers”, “Promotion of Information and Communication Technology systems in school and adult education”, “New Knowledge, pedagogies and approaches for teaching of Science, Maths and Technology in School Education to improve learning outcomes of Students”, “Enabling Inclusive Education – education of Girls, SCs, STs, Minorities and children with special needs” and “Comprehensive Education – Ethics, Physical Education, Arts & Crafts, Life Skills”. Some themes under Higher Education are also relevant like “Improving State public universities”, “Promoting Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online courses”, “Developing best Teachers’, “Promoting research and innovation’ and “Opportunities for technology enabled learning”. The theme “Strengthening of Vocational Education”in School Education, underlines that the need for emphasizing on integrating skills in education and a renewed focus on vocational education in secondary education. Similarly “Integrating skill development in higher education” under Higher Education, mentions that integrating skills within the higher education holds the key to reaping the demographic dividend. Another theme, “Engagement with industry to link education to employability” underlines the need for greater investment in research and focuses on the fact that industry academia linkages are essential to meet these ends and tries to find out how and what is needed for a more fruitful partnering with the industry.

The Government of India has constituted a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy and the suggestions received from all these multiple stakeholders have been sent to the Committee, which is expected to examine the outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education Policy as well as a Framework for Action (FFA).

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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Promotion of Sports in Schools

As per the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005, Health and Physical Education, which includes sports, is a compulsory subject from classes I to X and an optional subject at the higher secondary stage. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed syllabi on Health and Physical Education, which outlines class-wise games and sports for students. Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), annual grant is provided to government and government aided schools for replacement of non-functional school equipment and for other recurring costs such as consumables, play material, games and sports equipment etc. Under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), school grant of Rs.50,000/- is provided annually to Government Secondary Schools as part of recurring grant for various activities, including purchase of sports equipment and other sports related activities, based on viable proposals received from States and Union Territories. In addition, Rs.20,000/- per school (for a maximum of 100 schools per State/UT) is also provided to Government Secondary Schools under RMSA for purchase of sports equipment.

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) makes it obligatory for its affiliated schools to have adequate infrastructure for sports. CBSE has also advised its affiliated schools to allocate 40-45 minutes of physical activities and games for students of Classes I to X everyday, and at least two periods per week (90 to 120 minutes) for students of Classes XI to XII. However, education being a subject in the Concurrent List and most of the schools being under the purview of the State/Union Territory Governments, it is for the States/UTs to take necessary action in this regard.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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Assessment of Implementation of RTE Act

The Central Government reviews and monitors implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 periodically with the States and Union Territories at different fora, including the State Education Ministers’ Conferences. An independent concurrent financial review is also undertaken to cover all States within two years. Educational data on outcomes are collected through Unified District Implementation System of Education (UDISE) every year. The status of these evaluations and monitoring is placed in the public domain on the Ministry’s website. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the designated scheme to meet the object of RTE Act, 2009. The combined RTE-SSA programme is reviewed twice every year by a Joint Review Mission (JRM) comprising independent experts and members of external funding agencies, covering all States by rotation. The last JRM was held from 2nd to 12th February, 2015. The major challenge in meeting the objective of the RTE Act is ensuring quality education for all children at elementary level.

The no-detention policy has resulted in improvement of retention of children in schools. This is reflected in the decline in annual average dropout rate of children which is 4.15% at elementary level as per UDISE, 2014-15. Some States have requested for review of no-detention policy. Reports and views of several State Governments reflect that standard of elementary education has come down due to no-detention policy.

Section 7 of the RTE Act, 2009 provides that the Central and State Governments have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of the RTE Act. Allocation of outlays of the States under SSA are made on the basis of the approved Annual Work Plans and Budgets (AWP&B) prepared by the States based on their requirements. The central share released to States/UTs under SSA during the last five years and the current year is at Annexure.

The Government of India has introduced several measures to facilitate the implementation of the SSA to meet the objectives of the RTE Act by (i) launching ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’- a foundational sub-programme under SSA to improve early reading and writing with comprehension and early mathematics; (ii) launching ‘Rashtriya Avishkaar Abhiyan’ – a convergent framework to make Science, Mathematics and Technology exciting for children; (iii) sharing an exemplar on continuous and comprehensive evaluation in elementary education developed by the National Council for Educational Research & Training (NCERT); (iv) sharing learning outcomes by class and stage of education brought out by the NCERT; (v) conducting National Achievement Surveys for Classes III, V and VIII to track student learning outcomes; (vi) bringing out guidelines against discrimination in schools; (vii) monitoring of States to set up decentralized grievance redressal systems under the RTE Act; and (viii) launching of National Programme on School Standards and Evaluation called “Shala Sidhhi”, which is an initiative aimed at evaluating each school as an institution, with the intent to improve the quality of school education.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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Admission Policy in Kendriya Vidyalayas

Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) were established to cater to the educational needs of the children of transferable Central Government employees including Defence and Para-military personnel by providing a common programme of education. As per the admission guidelines duly approved by the Board of Governors of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), following priorities are followed in granting admission to the KVs in Defence / Civil Sector:-

1. Children of transferable and non-transferable Central government employees and children of ex-servicemen. This will also include children of Foreign National officials, who come on deputation or transfer to India on invitation by Government of India.

2. Children of transferable and non-transferable employees of Autonomous Bodies / Public Sector Undertaking / Institute of Higher Learning of the Government of India.

3. Children of transferable and non-transferable State Government employees.

4. Children of transferable and non-transferable employees of Autonomous Bodies / Public Sector Undertakings / Institute of Higher Learning of the State Governments.

5. Children from any other category including the children of Foreign Nationals who are located in India due to their work or for any personal reasons. The children of Foreign Nationals would be considered only in case there are no children of Indian Nationals waitlisted for admission.

The Children of Defence personnel are considered as first priority category for admission in KVs. The Children admitted in a KV can automatically claim admission in another KV, if their parent is transferred from one station to another.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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Facilities for Forward and Backward Communities

The Ministry of Human Resource Development receives suggestions from different stake holders from time to time on various issues including reviewing the existing facilities provided to all categories of students of the country. Last year, the government also initiated a collaborative, multi–stakeholder and multipronged consultation process for a New Education policy (NEP). Six Zonal meetings were held by the Minister of Human Resource Development which was attended by Education ministers and officials of the States/UTs. Ministry also held thematic consultations through apex level institutions and regulators, such as, University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), National University of Educational Planning & Administration (NUEPA), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Central Universities and invited relevant stakeholders including experts, academicians, industry representatives, civil society, etc. On 33 themes of NEP, inputs and suggestions were invited covering a spectrum of issues and challenges in education relating to access, quality, inclusive education, bridging gender, social and regional disparities, skill development, employability, etc.

At the grassroots level, consultation covered gram panchayat, blocks, urban local bodies, districts and States/Union Territories and suggestions have been uploaded on www.MyGov.in.



The suggestions and inputs received during the consultation process would be relevant to the aspects of facilities for students from all sections of the society, including forward Communities/ Backwards Communities (FCs/BCs).



The Government has constituted a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy and the suggestions received from all these multiple discussions have been sent to the Committee, which is expected to examine the outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education Policy as well as a Framework for Action (FFA).



This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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