Industry, School & Mass Education Minister Sri Debi Prasad Mishra inaugurated Quality Primary School Award Celebration at Jayadeve Bhawan by lighting the lamp and said that the major objective of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is to provide quality and inclusive elementary education to all children in a time bound manner. This has been made legally enforceable under the Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RCFCE ACT). The objective is not only to facilitate access to school and completion of elementary stage by all children between the ages of 6-14, but also to provide education of a reasonable quality irrespective of regional, social and economic disparities.
Improvement of quality in elementary education has been a major concern of Government as well as the civil society. Despite improvements in access, retention and introduction of good curriculum, the classroom processes, which impact upon the quality of education, continue to remain a major area of concern. Commissioner School & Mass Education Smt Usha Padhy told that the Department has taken several initiatives to improve the learning environment and learning outcomes of children reading in elementary schools. Samiksha is one of the Quality Monitoring Interventions, introduced from November 2010, which aims at improving the learning environment in elementary schools through a system of continuous monitoring and evaluation on the basis of pre-determined indicators.
Introduction and institutionalization of Samiksha has resulted in improvement in students’ and teachers’ attendance, brought convergence among all field functionaries of the Department at District level, enforced accountability among school teachers and immediate supervising personnel, and last but not the least provided with a defined monitoring tool for all schools.
A systematic school reinforcement programme called ‘SAHAJ’ was implemented on experiment basis to enhance the capabilities of children in classes II to VI in all the schools from 1’1 July, 2013. The objectives of the intervention was to enable the students to achieve the minimum levels of class-appropriate competencies in reading, writing, and basic numeracy of their previous grades, to make the teachers aware of the competency levels of each children and gain experience in reinforcement strategies. As the intervention was successful in enhancing the basic competencies of children, it was decided to continue with the reinforcement strategy with the following additional features:
Reinforcement on basic literacy and numeracy skills will be provided to all children for 3 hours every Saturday. Schools with 5 or more teachers will conduct reinforcement classes in the 3rd and 41h periods for all slow- learners. The periodic assessment of learning outcomes and improvements in learning carried out under SAHAJ will be integrated with Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) Besides stimulating the academic environment for promotion of quality in teaching-learning, the implementation of the “assessment” system will strengthen the existing initiatives of SAHAJ and SAMIKSHA.
Incentives and awards playa key role in helping schools to improve outcomes. Use of self- appraisal methods to evaluate and measure how schools and students perform and meet the standards would go a long way in ushering a healthy competition among schools which are equally placed in terms of infrastructure, PTR and past performances.
Rewards/incentives in shape of Quality Awards can be linked to such performances to encourage and improve the learning standards of children reading in elementary schools of the State.
The objectives are strengthen implementation and institutionalization of existing school improvement and learning enhancement interventions like SAMIKSHA, SAHAJ and CCE Identification of core areas for planning and resource allocation Encourage self-valuation and healthy competition among schools to improve and innovate learning and teaching Schools to know their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities through an informed review process. Availability of objective data for performance funding.
Institutions to initiate innovative and modern methods of pedagogy. The major outcomes of the programme is to develop the capacity of the school for quality improvement of the children. Director, OPEPA Sri Mahendra Mallick, Prof. S.L Jena and Director TE & SCERT Dr. A. B. Ota spoke on this occasion. 44 best Primary Schools were awarded in this gathering. All DEOs and DPC, SSA and teachers from awarded schools were present.