NIPUN Bharat and Other Educational Programs

Posted on: 2021-07-12 13:14:35

India's Ministry of Education launched the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN), on 5th July 2021, under ex-Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'. The objective of NIPUN Bharat Mission is to create an enabling environment to ensure the universal achievement of foundational literacy and numeracy so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.

This Mission is launched under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha and will focus on providing access and retaining children in foundational years of schooling; teacher capacity building; development of high quality and diversified Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials; and tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes. NIPUN Bharat will be implemented by the Department of School Education and Literacy and a five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at the National- State- District- Block- School level in all States and Union Territories (UTs).

The ‘Samagra Shiksha’ program was launched subsuming three existing schemes: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), and Teacher Education (TE). The scheme aims to treat school education holistically, from pre-school to Class XII.

The ex-education minister said, “NIPUN Bharat aims to cover the learning needs of children in the age group of 3 to 9 years. Teachers need to focus on every child for developing basic language, literacy and numeracy skills which will help them develop into better readers and writers.” He further added, “Thus, NIPUN Bharat envisages making the experience of learning at the foundational stage Holistic, Integrated, Inclusive, Enjoyable, and Engaging.”
To help this scheme achieve its objective, teachers will play an important role. Given the challenges of in-service teacher training across the different stages of school education, NCERT has designed an innovative integrated program of teacher training, now, popularly known as NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement).

Expected Outcomes of the program:

1) Foundational skills allow keeping children in class thereby reducing the number of dropouts and improving the transition rate from primary to upper primary and secondary stages.
2) Activity-based learning and a favorable learning environment will improve the quality of learning among students.
3) Innovative pedagogies (methods of learning), such as toy-based and experiential learning will be used in classroom interactions thereby making studying a joyful and engaging activity.
4) Intensive capacity building of teachers will make them empowered and provide greater liberty for choosing the pedagogy.
5) Holistic development of the child by focusing on different domains of development like physical and motor development, socio-emotional development, literacy and numeracy development, cognitive development, life skills, etc. which are interrelated and interdependent.
6) Children will be able to achieve a sharper learning trajectory which may have positive impacts on later life outcomes and employment.
7) Since almost every child attends early grades, therefore, focus at that stage will also benefit the socio-economic disadvantageous group thus ensuring access to equitable and inclusive quality education.

Other Educational Programs offered by the Government:

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)

  • The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the flagship program launched by the Government of India to accomplish the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time-bound manner as mandated by the Constitution of India. The 86th amendment to the Constitution of India made the Right to Education a Fundamental Right. The Right to Education provides for free and compulsory education to children aged between 6-14 years.
    In 2018, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan were subsumed and merged to form the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. It facilitates promoting social justice by providing basic education to children and provides an opportunity for the States for developing their vision of elementary education.

  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM)

  • To tackle the growing and widespread malnutrition in India, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was started in 1995 as ‘National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE)’. Under the MDM scheme, one meal is provided to all children enrolled in government schools, local body schools, government-aided schools, special training centers (STC), maktabs, and madrasas supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Cooked meals are provided to every child enrolled and attaining school from six to fourteen years. Meals are provided to children studying in Class I to VIII.
    The most primary objectives of the MDM scheme were to increase students' enrolment in schools, especially those who belong to disadvantaged sections of the society. It aimed to increase the attendance of the children in government and government-aided schools. The MDM scheme also intended to give nutritional support to the children studying in the elementary stage, especially in the drought-affected areas.

  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)
  • One of the major objectives of the Samagra Shiksha is to bridge gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education. To encourage the participation of girls in education, the existing Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) at the upper primary level and Girls Hostels at the secondary level has been extended/converted to provide residential and schooling facilities upto Class-XII under the Scheme.
    The plan was introduced by the Government of India in August 2004. It was then integrated into the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program, to provide educational facilities for girls belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), minority communities, and families below the poverty line (BPL) in Educationally Backward Blocks. The objective of KGBV is to ensure that quality education is feasible and accessible to the girls of disadvantaged groups of society by setting up residential schools with boarding facilities at the elementary level.

  • Scheme for Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutes (IDMI )

  • The IDMI has been operationalized to improve the infrastructure in Private Aided/Unaided Minority Schools/Institutions in order to enhance the quality and standard of education to minority children. The scheme is introduced to provide a national system of education, ensuring that all children, irrespective of their race, gender, caste, language, sex, etc. are having access to quality education. It aims to promote the education of minorities by expanding and strengthening school infrastructure in Minority Institutions and expanding facilities for formal education to the children of minority communities.
    The scheme will provide funding for infrastructure development of private aided/unaided minority institutions to the extent of 75% and subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs per institution for strengthening the educational infrastructure and physical facilities in the existing school including additional classrooms, science/computer lab rooms, library rooms, toilets, drinking water facilities, and hostel buildings for children, especially for girls. An amount of Rs.125 crore is proposed for the scheme in the Sixth Five Year Plan. The entire country comes under this scheme, but preference is given to places that have a minority population above 20 percent. The scheme also encourages educational facilities for children with special needs, girls, and others who are mostly held back in society.

  • National Program for Education of Girls at Elementary Education (NPEGEL)
  • The National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), is a focused intervention of the Government of India, to reach the most inaccessible families with the girl child, especially those not in school, to educate them. Launched in July 2003, it is an important component of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), which provides additional support for enhancing girl’s education over and above the investments for girl’s education through normal SSA interventions.
    The objectives of the program are to reduce the gender gap in the education sector, improve the quality of education, and thus, ensure greater participation of women and girls in the field of education.

    Let us know in the comments below if you know of any other equally or more beneficial educational programs that improve the quality of education for children all over the country.