• Bihar Education Project Bhojpur



The role of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) for strengthening the social fabric of democracy through provision of equal opportunities to all has been accepted since the inception of our Republic. The original Article 45 in the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution mandated the State to endeavour to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to age fourteen in a period of ten years. The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986/92, states: In our national perception, education is essentially for all Education has an acculturating role. It refines sensitivities and perceptions that contribute to national cohesion, a scientific temper and independence of mind and spirit - thus furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy enshrined in our Constitution.

With the formulation of NPE, India initiated a wide range of programmes for achieving the goal of UEE. These efforts were intensified in the 1980s and 1990s through several schematic and programme interventions, such as Operation Black Board(OBB), Shiksha Karmi Project (SKP), Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project (APPEP), Bihar Education Project (BEP), U.P Basic Education Project (UPBEP), Mahila Samakhya (MS), Lok Jumbish Project (LJP), and Teacher Education which put in place a decentralised system of teacher support through District Institutes of Education and Training, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP).Currently the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in partnership with State Governments foruniversalising elementary education across the country.

Over the years there has been significant spatial and numerical expansion of elementary schools in the country. Access and enrolment at the primary stage of education have reached near universal levels. The number of out-of-school children has reduced significantly. The gender gap in elementary education has narrowed and the percentage of children belonging to scheduled castes and tribes enrolled is proportionate to their population. Yet, the goal of universal elementary education continues to elude us. There remains an unfinished agenda of universal education at the upper primary stage. The number of children , particularly children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, who drop out of school before completing upper primary education, remains high. The quality of learning achievement is not always entirely satisfactory even in the case of children who complete elementary education.

The Constitution (Eighty -sixth Amendment) Act, 20021 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 20092, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. The need to address inadequacies in retention, residual access, particularly of un-reached children, and the questions of quality are the most compelling reasons for the insertion of Article 21-A in the Constitution of India and the passage of the RTE Act , 20099 in the Parliament.

Article 21-A and the RTE Act came into effect on 1 April 2010. The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words free and compulsory and ˜Free education™ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. a Compulsory education casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act.


Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)

The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme was launched by the Government of India in August, 2004 for setting up residential schools at upper primary level for girls belonging predominantly to the SC, ST, OBC and minorities in difficult areas. Initially it ran as a separate scheme, but was merged with the SSA programme with effect from 1st April, 2007. With the RTE Act, 2009 coming into force with effect from 1st April 2010, and the SSA Framework of Implementation being revised to correspond to the RTE Act, the KGBV component of SSA would also be implemented in the overall context of child rights and child entitlements and in harmony with the spirit and stipulations of the Act.