The Government of India has come up with several schemes to promote education in India so that the well-educated, hardworking youth can contribute to the country’s economy.
One such scheme is the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, a flagship initiative of the Central Government of India that aims to enhance the quality and access to secondary education all over India.
Launched in March 2009, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) seeks to place a secondary school within commuting distance of every home, hoping to raise the enrolment rate.
The scheme also requires all secondary schools to adhere to established standards, remove obstacles based on gender, socioeconomic status, and disability, and grant universal access to secondary education, thereby improving the standard of secondary education.
This scheme aims to build an environment that allows the holistic growth of individuals effectively and efficiently while ensuring that the principle of equity is followed for all students.
RMSA includes multidimensional research involving exploring and discovering new and creative methodologies that make knowledgeable classes interesting for students and teachers. This helps improve students' attention span by transforming a typical classroom lecture into an interactive one. Technical consulting, funding support, and several other implementations are also provided under the scheme to ensure that students avail maximum benefit from this scheme.
What are the objectives of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan?
The objectives of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan are as mentioned below:
- By placing a secondary school within a reasonable driving distance of each habitation, the plan aims to increase the gross enrolment ratio for classes IX to X from 52.26% in 2005-06 to 75% within 5 years of its implementation (i.e., by the year 2014).
- By requiring all secondary schools to adhere to the set standards, the scheme envisions raising the education standard provided at the secondary level.
- Demolishing all gender, socio-economic and disability barriers.
- Providing pan-India access to secondary education.
- Enhancing and universalising retention for secondary education by 2020.
Major heads managing the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
There are primarily four major heads managing the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan –
- Quality Improvement Head – There has been a classroom promotion of environmental education and science labs. RMSA investigates central sponsorship programmes for the population education initiative and international math and science Olympiads. Additionally, the state governments fund infrastructure, research inputs, and in-service training for teachers.
- Access and Equity Head – Besides offering secondary education for targeted focus groups, RMSA emphasises the need to eliminate socioeconomic and gender inequalities in secondary education. Furthermore, it focuses on scheduled tribe and scheduled caste groups, minority girls, and CWSN kids that we commonly refer to as special groups, the disadvantaged or vulnerable category. Additionally, several tactics have been implemented to offer free access to secondary education.
- Information Communication Technologies (ITC) Head – ITC is essential due to a rise in IT demand. The administration of Internet-based education is one of the components of a combined ICT programme in schools, along with staff development and reorientation, digitisation that uses audio and video cassettes with the help of NGOs, and financial assistance for computer education plans.
- Integrated Education for the Specially-Abled children (IEDC) Head – It contains several elements for convergence with exceptional schools, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for the targeted population at the elementary level, and integrated child development services for early interventions.
How is the scheme being implemented?
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is the central guiding force ensuring proper project implementation, with each state's aid from RMSA State Implementation Societies (SIS). However, numerous institutions and support systems are accessible for better RMSA implementation.
A National Resource Group (NRG) offers direction for enacting changes in curriculum, teaching-learning materials, ICT education, and monitoring and evaluation systems. The Technical Support Group (TSG), funded by MHRD and a member of the NRG, reports directly to the ministry. Teams at the federal, state and local levels can rely on TSG's technical and operational support and expertise.
A Project Monitoring System (PMS) has been enabled on the website, which is a significant step towards utilising technology to improve efficiency and manage the implementation of RMSA. States and Union Territories are allowed to view the status of every component (RMSA, ICT, IEDSS, GH & VE), GoI Releases, approved outlays, coverage as per UDISE, the quality of teachers, school-by-school list of approvals, school-by-school gaps, etc. under Integrated RMSA). Additionally, the relevant States/UTs may submit Monthly Progress Reports, both financial and physical, online through the PMS.
Improvements in educational indicators since 2009
- The number of children aged between 6 and 14 who are not enrolled in school has significantly decreased, from 134.6 lakhs in 2005 to 81 lakhs in 2009 and 61 lakhs in 2014.
- At the primary level, the annual average dropout rate decreased from 9.11% in 2009–10 to 4.13% in 2015–16.
- Primary to upper primary transition rates increased from 83.53% in 2009–10 to 90.14% in 2015–16.
- The Student to Teacher Ratio was 32 in 2009–10 and reduced to 24 in 2015–16.
As people begin to understand the importance of literacy and education, the education system and the country's literacy rate have improved tremendously over the last few years. However, there are still numerous regions of India where education fails to be a fundamental right for most.
Although the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, along with other schemes of its kind, has been a significant push for the entire nation, yet, undoubtedly, we all still have a long path ahead. Even though there have been changes, many are yet to come. Thus, who better than the nation's citizens to implement these life-changing schemes?