7.6.5 The need to lay down Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL) emerges from the basic concern that irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, all children must be given access to education of a comparable standard. The MLL strategy for improving the quality of elementary education is an attempt to combine quality with equity. It lays down learning outcomes in the form of competencies or levels of learning for each stage of elementary education. The strategy also prescribes the adoption of measures that will ensure achievement of these levels by children both in the formal schools as well as NFE centers.
7.6.6 The focus of MLL strategy will be the development of competency-based teaching and learning. The main steps by which MLLs will be introduced in school will be:
i) Preliminary assessment of the existing levels of learning achievements.
ii) Modification of the MLLs to suit local situations, if needed.
iii) Initial and recurrent orientation of teachers to competency-based teaching.
iv) Preparation of teacher training handbooks for MLL-based teaching.
v) Introduction of continuous and comprehensive evaluation of students and using evaluation results for remedial action.
vi) Preparation of unit tests and other evaluation materials and putting them in an item pool for using as and when required.
vii) Using MLL norms as and when curriculum and textbooks are revised; and
viii) Provision of competency based teaching-learning materials to make the educational process activity based and joyful.
7.6.7 Periodical and systematic programme of performance analysis will be carried out to ensure improvement in the quality of education. Efforts will be made to involve the community in this process.
7.6.8 Based on the experience gained in implementation of MLL projects sanctioned during 1991-92, the programme will be expanded to other areas in a phased manner. SCERTs/DIETs will be encouraged to take up MLL projects so that this strategy becomes an integral part of pre-service teacher training. Project area teachers will be trained in utilizing the teaching-aids supplied under Operation Blackboard. MLL concept will also be introduced in teacher training institutions/colleges for pre-service training. The immediate task is to lay down MLLs for upper primary stage. A committee will be set-up at the national level for this purpose.
7.6.9 At the national level, the MHRD will continue to play a major role. A network of Resource Centres will be identified to assist the Ministry in training, development of instructional and evaluation material, documentation, etc. At the state level Department of Education and SCERT will take the responsibility for implementation. A national pool of resource persons drawn from various educational institutions will be created. A A similar poor at the State level will also be set up. Arrangements will be made for reorientation of these resource persons for effective implementation of MLL strategy.
7.6.10 While Central Government will provide the funds in the initial stages when the strategy is implemented in a project mode, the State Governments, at least by the end of 8th Plan, will adopt this strategy as an integral part of their responsibility towards quality improvement of elementary education.