7.4.1 In the 8th Plan the strategy for UEE envisages adoption of disaggregated target setting and decentralized planning. An analysis of the educational indicators reveals that within each State, even in the educationally ward ones, there are areas and districts which are almost within reach of Universalisation, while even in the educational advanced States there are districts which are still quite ward. The attempt would be to prepare district-specific, population-specific plans for UEE within the broad strategy frame of Micro planning through people’s participation and introduction of Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL) in schools to improve learner achievement. Micro planning will provide the framework for universal access and universal participation while MLL would be the strategy frame for universal achievement.
7.4.2 In order to reduce disparities a disaggregated approach will be adopted through district planning by classifying districts into four categories;
i) High literacy districts in which access and enrolment are almost universal and community awareness for education is already high;
ii) Total literacy campaign districts in which community mobilization for educational needs has been successfully generated by the National Literacy Mission;
iii) Low literacy districts in which the provision of education facilities is unsatisfactory and the delivery system functions without any community involvement; and
iv) Externally assisted project districts with a different management structure and sufficient financial support.
7.4.3 The strategies with regard to access, participation, achievement, environment building, community participation, etc. will be different for the four categories of districts.
7.4.4 Under this broad strategy of district planning and based on the experience gained in implementation of NPE, and the RPF, the following strategies are proposed:
i) Adoption of alternative channels of schooling like voluntary schools and NFE centers for those who cannot avail of conventional full-time schooling.
ii) Micro planning through involvement of teachers and the community in order to design and implement a family-wise, child-wise plan of action for universal access/enrolment and participation.
iii) Making parents aware about their responsibility for ensuring the completion of elementary education by their children and for providing at the facilities and encouragement needed for this purpose.
iv) Establishment of linkages between programmes of pre-school and primary education, and between programmes of literacy and UEE, in total literacy campaign districts.
v) Improvement of school facilities through revamped Operation Blackboard and connecting it to MLL strategy. It will also be extended to upper primary stage.
vi) Decentralization of educational management for making the schools function so as to ensure universal enrolment, retention and achievement.
vii) Introduction of MLLs at primary and upper primary stages including coverage of the non-formal education channel.
viii) Revision of process and content of elementary education to make teaching-learning child centred, activity based and joyful.
ix) Introduction of continuous and comprehensive evaluation with focus on remedial measures.
x) Modification of teacher training programmes in view of changed strategies and programmes.
xi) Improvement of the monitoring system for UEE.
xii) Launching a National Mission to achieve the goals envisaged in the revised policy.
7.4.5 Further efforts would be made to develop district specific projects, with specific activities, clearly defined responsibilities, definite time-schedule and specific targets. Each district project will be prepared within the major strategy framework and will be tailored to the specific needs and possibilities in the district. Apart from effective UEE, the goals of each project will include the reduction of existing disparities in educational access, the provision of alternative systems of comparable standards to the disadvantaged groups, a substantial improvement in the quality of schooling facilities, obtaining a genuine community involvement in the running of schools, and building up local level capacity to ensure effective decentralization of educational planning. That is to say, the overall goal of the project would be reconstruction of primary education as a whole in selected districts instead of a piecemeal implementation of schemes. An integrated approach is more likely to achieve synergies among different programme components.