Out of the 293 transformative paragraphs of the National Education Policy 2020, about 180 are dedicated to school education. Recently, a video of a six-year-old girl making a strong case for reducing the burden of studies went viral. This monologue was an appeal to usher in joyful education in our schools.
There are over 25 crore children in the 6-18 age group. The first thing they require is affordable access to quality education. Play and toy-based teaching-learning material and pedagogy will be the cornerstone of building foundational literacy and numeracy.
Play-based learning is strongly linked to cognitive, language, thinking, communication, collaboration and psychomotor skills. There are 21 disabilities identified under the PwD Act of 2016, many of which are difficult to identify in a classroom setting. Children whose disabilities remain unidentified find it difficult to adjust to schooling. The revamped Samagra Shiksha for the first time provides training of special educators to severe the disabled children.
Samagra Shiksha Scheme
- Samagra Shiksha or holistic education is essentially joyful education. It encompasses the physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of the child alongside academic and skill development in an integrated format. Version 2.0 of the scheme focuses on access and retention, strengthening foundations, equity, holistic curriculum, assessment reforms, stakeholder participation, and technology integration.
- For the first time, pre-school infrastructure and workshop/laboratory cum classroom for vocational education shall also be funded in the 2.0 scheme. For retention after class 8 and 10, the scheme will provide transport for students to attend formal school.
- It aims to attract 16 to 19-year-old out-of-school children through the Open School system. The NIPUN Bharat Mission for foundational literacy and numeracy is a first-time component under the new Samagra Shiksha.
- Gender-related interventions have been strengthened by giving additional funds for extending Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas to grade 12, and provisioning of sanitary pad vending machines and incinerators in all girls’ hostels.
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