List of Contents
- What is the Importance of Quality Education?
- About School Educational Scenario in India
- What are the UDISE+ findings on Inclusive Development in Education?
- What are the various initiatives taken recently to ensure Inclusive Development in Education?
- How India’s FY 2023-24 Budget made Inclusive Development in Education a Priority?
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The new reality of the twenty-first century has altered the objectives and standards of education everywhere. Inclusive Development in Education now include Information technologies, especially digital skills and literacy, have become fundamental to daily life. The teacher of the twenty-first century must be adaptable and constructive, continually raising his or her bar, looking for answers, and resolving issues.
What is the Importance of Quality Education?
Education is not just about gaining knowledge, but also about developing critical thinking, collaboration, and resource management skills.
It is essential for improving employability, breaking the cycles of poverty and social exclusion, and promoting equality. The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-4) aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for everyone by 2030.
The National Education Policy 2020 is a policy that aims to address the developmental needs of the country by promoting youth skill acquisition and all-around development in a welcoming, open, and multilingual environment.
About School Educational Scenario in India
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged school closures, there have been positive trends in the education sector. For example, access to education is now recognized as a non-negotiable part of a child’s right to education, which is enshrined in law and widely accepted in practice in India.
Consequently, in 2021-22 the Gross Access ratio (GAR) of schooling facilities at the primary level is 97.49% habitations, 97.01% at the upper primary level, and 95.48% at the secondary level.
What are the UDISE+ findings on Inclusive Development in Education?
The Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+) and economic survey reported that a) 26.5 crore children were enrolled in schools, b) The enrolment of Children With Special Needs (CWSN) increased by 3.3% in the year 2021-22, c) The number of students dropping out of school has also decreased across all grade levels.
This achievement is attributed to programmes like Samagra Shiksha, RTE Act, improvements to school infrastructure, residential hostel buildings, teacher availability, regular training, free textbooks, uniforms, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, and the PM POSHAN Scheme.
Most government schools now have basic facilities, including toilets, drinking water, and hand-washing stations, thanks to the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Samagra Shiksha Scheme.
The government also provides funding for the construction of smart classrooms and ICT labs, as well as support for hardware, instructional software, and e-content for classrooms. The GER (Gross enrolment ratio) of girls is higher or equal in all stages of school education, ensuring equitable access to education.
None: Instructional Software (IS) programs include pictures, sounds, animations, and other various stimuli used to enhance the development of skills such as reading, writing and problem solving. IS programs provide individualised experiences used to enhance the general curriculum and mastery of skills through extra practice, simulations, and problem solving opportunities.
|Must read: Ministry of Education released a detailed Report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2021-22|
What are the various initiatives taken recently to ensure Inclusive Development in Education?
PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI)
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for Foundational Stage: The NCF aligns with the NEP 2020 and the 5+3+3+4 curricular structure, which includes early childhood care and education for children aged 3 to 8. It emphasises the importance of “play” in curriculum organization and the child’s overall experience, with a focus on enhancing developmental outcomes through support from communities, parents, and teachers.
PRASHAST: It is a mobile app for disability screening. It covers 21 impairments, including the benchmark impairments listed in the 2016 Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
The National Credit Framework (NCrF): It incorporates the National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF), National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), and National School Education Qualification Framework. It is an umbrella framework for skilling, re-skilling, up-skilling, accreditation, and evaluation.
In addition to the above, other initiatives like toy-based pedagogy guidelines, starting Balvatikas in Kendriya Vidyalayas, Vidyanjali- an initiative for improving the quality of school education through community and various intervention under Samagra Shiksha were undertaken to improve the quality of school education sector.
|Must read: Year End Review –Ministry of Education|
How India’s FY 2023-24 Budget made Inclusive Development in Education a Priority?
The budget for FY 2023-24 aims to boost education, skill development, entrepreneurship, R&D, digital infrastructure, green growth and job creation. It is critical for transforming India into a technology-driven knowledge-based economy and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The budget focuses on promoting an equitable and inclusive education system and implementing the National Education Policy 2020. It allocates 13% more funds for education than the previous year. With a young population of 52.3 crores, the budget aims to provide education to all sections of society and transform India into a technology-driven society. Overall, the budget focuses on inclusive growth and development to create a prosperous and inclusive India.
The major announcements of the budget 2023-24 for the education sector are as below:
Inclusive Development in Education: School Education
Pandemic-related school closures have severely impacted India’s school-going children, particularly in government schools and rural areas. The education sector is now focusing on learning recovery, with the budget providing priority areas to be emphasized, like:
Re-envisioning Teachers’ Training: The NEP 2020 emphasizes the importance of training teachers to improve primary education and ensure high-quality teacher preparation. District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) will play a crucial role in this by providing pre-service and in-service teacher training and becoming centers of excellence for research and dissemination of best practices. The budget has allocated more funds for teacher training, including new pedagogy, ongoing professional development, and the use of ICT.
National Digital Library for children and Adolescents: NEP emphasizes the importance of reading and the availability of diverse books for all students. To achieve this, a national digital library will be created with books by reputable Indian and international authors, including Braille and Braille translation tools. States will also be encouraged to establish physical libraries and provide access to the digital library’s resources.
The National Book Trust and Children’s Book Trust will donate non-curricular books to these libraries to foster a reading culture and compensate for pandemic-related learning loss. NGOs and financial organizations will also be involved in promoting literacy and financial literacy.
Aspirational Blocks Programme: The government has launched this Programme to provide public services, such as health, education, and infrastructure, in 500 blocks prioritizing tribal groups and disadvantaged pupils. This builds on the success of the Aspirational Districts Program.
Eklavya Model Residential Schools: Over the next three years, the government will appoint 38,800 teachers and support personnel for the 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, which serve 3.5 lakh tribal students, to improve access to education for the last mile.
Inclusive Development in Education: Higher Education
This budget clearly reflects the Indian Prime Minister’s vision of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, and Jai Anusandhan. “The government has laid emphasis on new age technologies, like:
Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence: To achieve the goal of “Make Al in India” and “Make Al work for India,” the government plans to establish three Artificial Intelligence Centres of Excellence in prestigious educational institutions. This will foster a robust AI ecosystem, promote multidisciplinary research, and address scalable issues in various sectors.
Lab Grown Diamonds (LGDs): A research and development grant for indigenous production is given in recognition of the ITs’ pioneering role in the nation’s research excellence. One of the lITs will get equipment and seeds from Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD) for a period of five years.
5G Services: The government plans to set up 100 labs in engineering schools across India to develop apps using 5G services in areas like healthcare, education, and transportation. This aims to revolutionize engineering education, boost employment, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young engineers.
National Data Governance Policy: To unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out. This will enable access to anonymised data.
In addition to the above announcements, Multidisciplinary courses in medical devices and programmes to promote research in pharmaceuticals, with both industry and government funding will further strengthen the ‘Jai Anusandhan’ motto.
India has made notable progress in ensuring access to primary education and is striving to achieve equitable, inclusive, and quality secondary education for all by 2030. The Union Budget 2023-24 aims to support these efforts and advance the objectives of NEP 2020 and SDG 4 by promoting infrastructure improvements, educational technology developments, and raising the standards of instruction and learning. This will create new opportunities for teachers, students, and researchers, and revolutionize K-12 (K stands for Kindergarten and 12 stands for 12th grade) and higher education in a positive way.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Social Justice: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education.