Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lessons in quality

Sopan Correspondent/Patna

Bihar has initiated a slew of steps to arrest migration of students to other states for quality education

Sopan Correspondent/Patna

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently launched 'Samjhe Seekhe Gunwatta' (understand-learn quality) programme in all the districts in the state.
"Our goal is to stop the migration of our children to other states for quality education. For this we have made arrangements at pre-school levels at various Anganbari centres across the state. The children are given free books and school uniform and are encouraged to stay in school by offering various programmes that keep them interested in education", said the Chief Minister.
Under this programme, an eight-minute documentary focusing on how to improve quality education for the students in the state would be screened in all the schools in the districts. A sapling would also be planted in the districts.
The CM also promised at least one Urdu and Sanskrit teacher in every school in the state. He further said that the government will focus more on promoting English education as well.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said that by distributing 35 lakh bicycles to the girls, the state has become first in giving cycles.
Meanwhile, the Central Government's ambitious literacy mission 'Sakshar Bharat' is yielding results as 46.33 lakh new learners came forward to take the functional literacy test.
Out of these, 70 per cent passed the test with A and B grades. Every learner got a certificate despite how well they excelled in the test. Also, 82 per cent literacy has been reported among the women neo literates who were assessed as against 18 per cent literacy among men.
The learners got rated on reading, writing and numeracy. Tamil Nadu showed 100 per cent literacy among the candidates assessed, while Andhra Pradesh posted the lowest adult literacy percentage of 51.52. Saakshar Bharat is a centrally sponsored scheme of Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
It aims to promote and strengthen Adult Education, specially of women, by extending educational options to those adults who having lost the opportunity of access to formal education and crossed the standard age for receiving such education.
A proposal for the setting up of a centre for policy research and training in adult education by 2013 came up during a recently held international Conference in New Delhi. The conference was attended by 14 countries including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.
The Conference, 'Women's Literacy for Inclusive and Sustainable Development' was hosted by India. The proposed centre will benefit India, Pakistan and Bangaldesh.
After India's independence, several schemes and campaigns like the Community Development Programme and the Sarva Shiksha Mohim were launched by the Government, to accelerate the process of spread of literacy. A scheme called Functional Literacy for Adult Women (FLAW) was started in 1975-76, to boost the literacy rate among women. A two-pronged approach for the universalisation of elementary education and universal adult literacy was adopted for achieving total literacy.
Over the years, National Policy on Education (External website that opens in a new window) has given an unqualified priority to programmes for eradication of illiteracy, particularly among women.
The Central Government is planning to give ISO certification and credit funding for vocational education courses in the country.
"We are working on getting ISO certification for all the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to make the sector more standardized and become a global talent hub," said Sharada Prasad, director general of employment and training at the Union labour ministry.
The aim of this move is to formulate standards for the sector and make India a skilled manpower hub during the 12th Five-year Plan period. India has more than 9,300 ITIs.

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