The Union Cabinet has recently approved the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan-2. It is a program to improve the quality of school education from pre-school to class XII, which will be effective till March 31, 2026. Under this, arrangements will be made for children’s gardens, smart classrooms, trained teachers in schools. Along with this, upgradation of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Schools up to class 12, provision of sanitary pads in girls hostels and schools to be transformed into centers of imparting knowledge with skills.
The country has witnessed significant improvements in the quality of school education, infrastructure and various components of school education. In fact, in 2012-13, where electricity had reached only 54 percent of the schools in the country, now 83.4 percent of the schools have been electrified. Seven years ago, only 36% of schools had hand washing facilities, which is now available in 90% of schools. Separate toilets for girls have been built in 97 percent of schools to attract girls to schools and for cleanliness.
The government has left no stone unturned in providing a learning environment to the students, which is confirmed by the fact that 84 per cent of the schools in the country have a library or a separate room for self-study. In 82 percent of the schools in the country, the students also get a health check-up once a year. Along with the education of the students, the government is also taking care of the health. For the first time in the country, the participation of female teachers in school education has increased as compared to male teachers.
In fact, out of the total teachers in 2019-20, the number of male teachers is 47.7 lakh, while the number of female teachers has been recorded at 49.2 lakh, while in 2012-13, the number of male teachers was six and a half lakh more than female teachers. On the contrary, now the number of female teachers is 1.5 lakh more than the men. Talking about primary schools, currently 15.8 lakh male teachers are employed, while the number of female teachers is 19.7 lakh.
Not only this, the number of female teachers is more than males in 14 states and seven union territories of the country. The increasing interest of women towards teaching will definitely strengthen school education. A lot of credit for this achievement goes to the policies of the central government focused on girl child education and women empowerment. An educated society can lay the foundation of a prosperous nation. In such a situation, it is necessary that every child should be ensured in school education. In the times of pandemic, efforts will have to be made to re-connect the deprived students with schools, only then children will be able to benefit from school education.