Students reaping benefits of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

BY ALBERT FERNANDES|NT NETWORK

POINGUINNIM: A rigorous and inclusive monitoring are important keys to the successful implementation of any educational programme. The same is true with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which aims at providing free elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years.

It is an effort to universalise quality elementary education for all children in a mission mode. SSA is the comprehensive and integrated flagship programme of the government of India launched in partnership with the state governments and local self-governments.

The component of SSA include: preparatory activities for micro-planning, household surveys, studies, community mobilisation, school-based activities, office equipment, training and orientation at all level.

It also includes opening of new primary and upper primary schools, construction of additional classrooms, schools and other facility, providing free text books to all girls SC/ST children, maintenance and repairs of school buildings, providing teaching\ learning material, provision for disabled children, innovative activities etc. The responsibility for implementation of the programme is vested at the national level with the department of Elementary Education and Literacy (DEE &L). At the national level, there is general council and executive committee and a Project Approval Board (PAB).

The SSA Scheme in the Goa state has Block Resource Centre (BRC) in all the 11 talukas. In Canacona, it was introduced in 2005. The Canacona BRC is headed by its BRC coordinator, Mr Kamlakar Mhalshi ably assisted by another two BRCs’ members, Mr Ramchandra S Naik and Mr Umesh Desai. The Taluka Resource Centre has ten Cluster Resource Centres at Nagorcem, Kindlebhag, Shristhal-Canacona, Shristhal-Gaondongrem, Shishegal-Kumbhegal, Yedda-Cotigao, Kazalker-Loliem, Agonda, Goval-Khola and Galgibaga.

In Canacona, there are 72 GPS schools, 3 GMS and 16 high schools besides one residential school. In all these schools basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, toilets, etc are made available to the children up to Std VIII. The class enrolment in these schools from I-IV is 1714 which are manned by nearly 135 teachers, informs Mr Mhalshi. The teachers up to Std VIII are given annually ` 500/- to prepare Teacher Learning material (TLM) under this scheme. The teachers along with the assistance of school students are supposed to prepare a teaching aid model, applicable to the matter taught from the text books, informed Mr Mhalshi.

Mr Mhalshi also further informed that incentives like school bags and raincoats are given to students belonging to the SC/ST. Besides, all the students up to std VIII in government as well as aided schools are provided free text books and also note books. However, Mr Mhalshi said that selected library books are given only to the GPS. The GPS also benefits from English and Mathematic kits given to the upper primary students. Speaking to this reporter, Mr Mhalshi informed that under Civil works, all the 72 primary schools have provision of drinking water, except for nine schools where a permanent water facility is missing due to the pipe-line not being laid because of an issue of disputed land.

With regards to electricity provision, all but 5 schools are yet to get electricity though electrical fixtures have been installed. Once, electricity poles are installed, the schools will soon get electric connection, Mr Mhalshi informs.

With regards to introduction of child friendly aids like see-saws, swings etc. as many as 32 GPS are equipped with these while a few others are gradually getting the system in place. The scheme has been implemented since last year, Mr Mhalshi said. However, he added that prior to this, 3 GPS namely Davalkhazan, Agonda and Morkud were already equipped with these aids. The remaining 35 schools will gradually be given the scheme, he remarked.

The SSA also completed some major construction works of additional classrooms for GP’s at Avem, Karvem, and Mastimol etc. While work is in progress at another 31 locations. He also pointed out that additional rooms have been sought for middle schools at Patnem and Velwada. Apart from this, the SSA has also carried out major repair works including roofing of schools at Gaval-Khola and Kajumol, GPS at Vaizwada, Gulem, Chapoli, Yedda, Kuskem and Avem. This scheme initially undertaken by SSA is now being handled by the directorate of education.

SSA is also actively involved in identification of children with special needs. These children are referred for medical check-up either to Hospicio or GMC, Bambolim. Mr Mhalshi also informed that a new scheme called ‘Under intervention out of school children’. The scheme has been implemented at GPS Kindlebhag. Such a scheme has been made applicable to only three talukas namely Canacona, Pernem and Sanguem.

Mr Mhalshi informed that the people are of the impression that the SSA only receives money and implements schemes, but he said that the main aim is to improve quality education. Parents are beginning to realize the contribution of SSA.