INTRODUCTION

A new scheme viz., Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been introduced by the government of India to universalize elementary education by making the community the owner of the education system. The scheme will provide useful and relevant elementary education for all children in the 6-14 age group by 2010 and bridge social, regional and gender gaps.

  • All children in school, education guarantee center, alternative school , 'back to school' camp by 2003.
  • All children complete five years of primary schooling by 2007.
  • All children complete eight years of elementary schooling by 2010.
  • Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life.
  • Bridge all gender and social category gaps at primary stage by 2007 and at elementary education level by 2010.
  • Universal retention by 2010.

The implementation of SSA will make the Union Territory of Pondicherry realize the promulgation found in the Article 45 of the Indian Constitution, which has been beyond our reach so far.

INNOVATIVE ACTIVITIES

GIRLS' EDUCATION

Making Education free and compulsory is the keystone of the any national plan to eliminate gender disparity in education and achieve universal education. (Strategies for girls education - UNICEF)

At the national level the gender gap is characterized by lower enrolment and retention rates and higher drop out rates for girls, as compared to boys at both primary and upper primary levels of education.

It is a highly appreciable situation in the UT of Pondicherry that there are no resistant groups-linguistic or minority-which do not send their girl children to schools (up to class XII)

The national level of male and female gap in literacy rate is 21.70. Where as in the UT of Pondicherry , Male-Female gap in literacy rate is 14.72.

However to sustain the present trend and to empower the girl children, the following interventions, which are designed to address the learning needs of the girl children and the related education to their life, are proposed.

SPECIAL COACHING AND REMEDIAL CLASSES

Special coaching classes for slow learners, among girl children, will be conducted after the school hours in the evening utilizing the services of candidates possessing qualification B.Education.,/Degree/D.T.Education./+2 pass in the order of preference. This programme was carried out in 91 Primary, Middle, High and Hr.Sec. Schools in Pondicherry, 69 in Karaikal and 15 Schools in Yanam. Remuneration @ Rs.300/- per month will be paid to teachers.

IMPORTANCE TO GIRLS IN BRIDGE COURSES IN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

One way of reaching girls who have dropped out of schools is through education centers established out side the formal school system.

SSA established 49 Alternative Schools for the Out-of-School Children in the age group of 6-14 years and organized 'Bridge Courses' with specially developed instructional materials. Survey to the Out-of-School Children has already been carried out by the Village Education Committees and School Level Committees and identified 292 Out-of-School-children in UT of Pondicherry. Girl Children will be given preference and importance.

VOCATIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

To empower girl children studying in classes VI to VII will be given training in various crafts like making Clay/Paper Pulp Toys, Dolls, Embroidery materials, wire bags, etc., This attempt will enhance their self-esteem and self confidence. The sense of achievement will also pave way for such achievements scholastic areas.

The technical teachers - Drawing, Craft, Sewing and music had been given a special 3-day training in Vocational Skill Development.

Vocational Skill Development Training for Girl Children has been carried out in girls and co-education schools for girl children studying in classes 6-8 utilizing the services of Technical Teachers and other skilled persons in crafts.

COUNSELLING

Every activity under the programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will be judged in terms of its gender component. To bridge up the gender gap and to address the learning needs of girls and relating education to their life, special interventions need to be designed. Individuals are in need of guidance throughout their life and hence it is said that guidance is needed from "Cradle to Grave". The guidance activities and programmes should be developed keeping in view the specific development task at each life stage.

Girl children especially studying in rural areas feel shy to express their psychological problems even among their peer groups. The problem of adolescent girl child should be attended to with the utmost care.

Therefore SSA have been providing Counselling to girl children studying in classes 6 to 8 in Co-education schools and girls schools through the female teachers of the school. The female teachers have under gone a 5 day Training Programme in Guidance and Counselling and they are designated as "Counselling Assistants".

A 5 day training programme was organized for women teachers in Guidance and Counselling. They are designated as Counselling Assistants and paid a token of remuneration and girl schools in UT of Pondicherry.

A programme on Counselling to the Tsunami Victim was designed. The Counselling Assistants carried out Counselling services to the Tsunami Victim in Pondicherry, and Karaikal districts. A booklet titled 'All about Tsunami' both in English and Tamil was prepared by SSA and issued to the Head of Institutions with a request to educate the students, the parents and the public so that the loss is minimized in the event of Tsunami re-occurring. A CD was also produced by SSA in the cause of providing solace to Tusnami victims.

PROVISION OF EQUIPMENTS

SSA proposes to strengthen the laboratories in Girls schools by providing laboratory equipments and to improve the vocational skill among girl children sewing machines/embroidery machines will be provided to all Girls' and Co-Education schools.

SC EDUCATION

NIGHT SCHOOL AND REMEDIAL CLASSES

SSA will adopt "Zero Rejection" policy so that no child is left out of education system especially SC children.

To give special focus on SC children components like 'Night School' and 'Special Coaching Classes for Slow Learners' have been successfully implemented.

The SC children particularly residing in rural areas are to be paid special attention, since the environment to concentrate on their studies at home may not be congenial one.

Therefore SSA has started Night Schools in SC populated areas in order to facilitate the children to study under the supervision of 'Educational Volunteers' (EV s) between 6 p.m to 8 p.m on all working days in their selected by VEC/SLC and the EV s should preferably have B.Ed.,/D.T.Ed., qualifications. The services of Preraks/Nodal Preraks who are incharge of study centers run by Directorate of School Education under Continuing Education Scheme have also been utilized for supervising "Night Schools". The Night Schools have been monitored by the Teacher Educators of BRCs.

COMPUTER EDUCATION

With the objective of creating Computer awareness and computer orientation among children and teachers at the elementary stage and improving the quality of education and also enrolment and retention, computer education at the elementary level has been introduced.

The focus will be on 'Computer Assisted Learning' (CAL) through multimedia bilingual CDs prepared based on the school syllabus. The children themselves will operate the computer thereby becoming computer literates.

Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore on voluntary organization supplies Educational CDs free of cost. A CD by name "Discover Pondicherry" has also been produced for 3rd standard Social Science with the assistance of Azim Premji Foundation.

The Teachers of the schools to which computers have been supplied, have been trained in computer operations and the contents of the CDs.

Under this scheme all the High Schools in the UT of Pondicherry will be supplied with computers @ 5 computers to each school.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION (ECCE)

The first six years are critical in a child's life, since rate of development of intelligence, personality of social behaviour during there years is more rapid than any other stage of development. The researches have conclusively shown the positive impact of pre-school education on primary stage of schooling both on level of participation and learning achievement of children. The NCERT study has revealed increased rate of retention at primary stage of education among those children who have exposed to pre-school education and reduction in the number of drop outs and failures.

In the absence of suitable environment in homes, Early Childhood Education serves to provide children the necessary environment for their overall development.

The UT of Pondicherry, releasing the importance of ECCE and its favourable impact on Primary education, has started LKG classes is about 170 Primary Schools and Upper Primary Schools during 2003-04 by merging Balwadies hitherto functioning under the Department of Women and Child Development with Education Department.

The enrolment in LKG classes is quite encouraging. Even the schools with meager strength in Primary Classes have reasonable enrolment in LKG class.

English Rhymes for primary classes in audiocassettes and CDs by District Institute of Education and Training have been produced out of SSA funds.

It is proposed to supply child friendly materials like slide, 2-seater swing, sea-saw, 6 seater merry-go-round to all schools having LKG and UKG classes.

SSA is also in the process of evolving curriculum for UKG class and Teachers Handbook for LKG and UKG class. International Business Machine (IBM) offers kids smart programmes aiming at introducing technology at the pre-school level. The hardware and software required for the implementation of the programme will be supplied free of cost to schools. The beneficiaries of this programme are the children studying in LKG and UKG classes and in Primary classes.

SSA proposes to accept this offer and will start this programme in 3 schools in Pondicherry and 4 schools in Karaikal regions. These 7 schools are in the Tsunami hit areas.

OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN

Alternative schools have been established in Government Schools through Village Education committee (VEC) as well as, Non Government Organisation in the UT of Pondicherry.

To achieve the goal of Universalisation of Elementary Education, SSA, Pondicherry strives to bring the never enrolled/dropped out children in the age group of 6-14 are enrolled in schools. This can be achieved by establishing "Alternative Schools" in all Government Schools and Bridge Schools by N.G.O in UT of Pondicherry.

An honorarium is paid Rs.845/- per child at Primary Level and Rs.1200/- at Upper Primary Level. The Education Volunteers are appointed by Village Education Committee established in all Government Schools.

These Out of School Children enrolled in Alternative Schools are equipped by Teacher Volunteers and then they are mainstreamed into regular schools in the ensuing year.

  • Teaching Learning Material (TLM)
  • School Grant
  • Maintenance and Repairs

TEACHING LEARNING MATERIAL (TLM)

The TLM is the actual vehicle that helps in delivering the curriculum to the child in the classroom, thereby giving access to learners towards the acquisition of the content easily and effectively. Primary School Teachers and School Assistants handling Primary and Upper Primary Classes in Government and Aided Schools are allotted Rs.500/- per annum towards the preparation of Teaching Learning Materials.

SCHOOL GRANT

Government and Aided Schools containing Primary and Upper Primary classes will be allotted an annual grant of Rs.2000/- as school grant. This amount could be utilized to buy tables, chairs, almirahs, water jugs, name board and registers and the like.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR GRANT

An annual grant of Rs.5000/- is released to Government and Private aided schools for general maintenance and repair works such as:

  1. White washing/Painting.
  2. Blackening of Black Board.
  3. Repair Works of floor, wall and roof.
  4. Painting of windows and doors
  5. Maintenance and repairs works of toilet and drinking water facility.
  6. Construction of compound wall, raising of hedges etc.,
  7. Maintenance and repair work of switches and electric wiring etc.,

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (CWSN)

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan strives for Universalisation of Elementary Education. The Objective of SSA to Universalise Elementary Education cannot be achieved without educating children with disabilities. Hence education of Children with Special needs(CWSN) forms a very important component of SSA. The Framework for implementation of SSA aims to ensure that every child with special needs irrespective of the category and degree of disability is provided education in an appropriate environment. The thrust of SSA is on providing inclusive education to all Children with Special Needs in general.

For the proper implementation of Inclusive Education of Children with Special Needs in UT of Pondicherry, the list of disabled children block wise, school wise has been generated as a part of pre-project activities and the list is being upgraded every year.

The First Assessment Camp at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kirumambakkam, Pondicherry, for CWSN (OH) was conducted on 17th & 18th February 2005.

By June First/Second week of 2005 aids and appliances will be supplied to the Disabled Children.

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION

Research and evaluation have received due importance under SSA scheme as these are very important components for the quality planning and implementation of the programme. Research under the project will be viewed as a guidance force for taking up of various new initiatives for realizing the objectives of UEE Research studies and surveys will be carried out aiming at the following objectives.

  1. To provide inputs both in terms of qualitative and quantitative data for plan formulation.
  2. To assess the processes adopted in the implementation of the plan.
  3. To evaluate the impact of the outcomes of interventions.

The quality planning and implementation of any programme need Research and Evaluation. Therefore these two have received due importance in the SSA.

Conducted Baseline Test from VI std to VII std in 8 schools having Ccomputer Assisted Learning (CAL) Programme and the same Baseline tests were conducted for the same experimental classes. For the comparative study the very same achievement tests were conducted.

SSA has proposed to empower the teachers in Action Research for the betterment of classroom teaching and learning process with the assistance from DTERT, Chennai. Forty primary school teachers were involved in Action Research. The initial Action Research Programme was organised on 19th February 2005. the next phase was organized on 3rd March.

Activities of DISE, Cohort study are also included in this intervention. The State Resource Group is to be constituted

TEACHING LEARNING EQUIPMENT (TLE)

One of the intervention under SSA for enhancement of quality of education in schools is the supply of Teaching Learning Equipment (TLE).

SSA has a provision for supply of TLE to the newly started Primary Schools and newly upgraded Middle schools.

A committee was constituted for the purpose of recommending the materials to be purchased and finalized subject wise list of materials.

Supply of TLE provision is made to the newly started Primary school at Rajanagar, and eleven newly upgraded Middle schools. (8 schools in Pondicherry, 2 schools in Karaikal and 1 school in Mahe).

CIVIL WORKS

Several steps have been taken up for providing an atmosphere to the existing school by way of providing minimum required building/classroom and other infrastructure facilities like drinking water, toilets, storage facilities etc., Schools and classrooms must be attractive to provide an interesting and stimulating climate to the children.

The planning process includes a part of project activities revealed over crowded classrooms, running multiple classes simultaneously in single classroom/verandah with two teachers etc., Most of the schools do not have proper space for storage and also security for the available audio visual equipment and other Teaching Learning Materials.

Expenditure on school buildings and other infrastructure will be a one time expenditure so that concentration will be focused on other quality aspects in the years to come.

EXECUTION OF CIVIL WORKS

The Civil works will be carried out by means of Community participation for the betterment of school facilities. The school committees will be given the responsibility of undertaking construction work of new school buildings, additional classrooms and Block Resource Centers in addition to repair and maintenance of school building.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

In addition to execution of civil works, the community will have to contribute in the following ways:

  • Meeting out the excess expenditure, over and above the funds released by SSA for construction of School building, additional classroom, HM room, toilets and provision of drinking water.
  • Participation in the quality construction and monitoring of the progress.
  • Support for providing local materials and other cost effective materials (cash, kind and service).

BUILDINGS FOR NEW SCHOOLS

As a part of expansion of the schooling facilities to all the children in the age group 5-12(class 1-8), it is proposed to open 18 new primary schools in school-less habitations.

The school committee will take up the construction of school buildings.

ADDITIONAL CLASSROOMS

It is proposed to provide a room for every teacher/class/section in primary, upper primary as per SSA norms.

BLOCK RESOURCE CENTRE

There are 3 Block Resource Centres in Pondicherry district and Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam each one,. Funds have been allocated for the construction of all the six BRCs in all the four regions of UT of Pondicherry.

CLUSTER RESOURCE CENTRE

In the UT of Pondicherry there are 25 Cluster Resource Centres (Pondicherry 15, Karaikal 6, Mahe 2 and Yanam 2). These 25 Cluster Resource Centres have to be constructed in the respective regions.

TOILETS & DRINKING WATER PROVISION

The UT of Pondicherry has a total of 432 primary, upper primary and secondary & higher secondary schools. Funds have been released to 167 schools for construction of toilet @ Rs.20,000/- per school and for the provision of drinking water funds have been released to 151 schools @ Rs.15,000/- per school in 2004-05.

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS

The Village/School Education Committees, after due assessment, will carry out the repair and maintenance work with the funds made available to them by SSA. Contribution from the community for the work will be insisted upon. The repairs and maintenance work includes :

  • Flooring
  • Wall plastering
  • Roofing
  • Doors and windows replacing
  • White washing and colour washing
  • Repairing of electrical fittings and furniture

FORM - PROJECT ACTIVITIES - FUNDS UTILISATION STATUS