A nation’s growth and prosperity rely on the development of its future generation through a vibrant education system. Elementary education refers to the stage of formal education where learners learn how to think rather than gain information about new facts. Elementary education does not require any prior formal education. It begins at the age of 6 years from grade 1 and lasts till age 11 at grade 5. It offers learners basic knowledge about various subjects and fosters their learning process. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan was mainly developed to universalize elementary education.
Achievements of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The major achievements of SSA are as follows:
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship program started by the government of India in 2001. It was developed to achieve the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE).
- It paved the way for universalization and elementary education. Children up to 14 years of age are now eligible for free and compulsory education across the nation.
- The provision of legal backing for SSA occurred when the Indian Constitution under Article 21 A, made free and compulsory education for the children in the age group of 6-14 a fundamental right in. In a time-bound manner, SSA aims to fulfill the objectives of this fundamental right.
- It is anchored by The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GoI) and has been operational since 2000-2001.
Failures of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The failures of the SSA are as follows:
Ignorance by Parents
Despite the government’s efforts to offer free and compulsory education, many people living in remote areas still ignore sending their children to school.
Lack of Coordination
There is a lack of coordination between the local community and the educational institutions which leads to issues in universalizing elementary education.
The attitude of Indifference
There is an air of indifferent attitude by the higher authorities which leads to a lack of effort in the universalization of elementary education.
Lack of Funds
There is an inadequacy of funds which leads to a lack of learning resources and materials.
Even though education may be free, there are still some expenses parents have to incur and those belonging to a poor social class may therefore refrain from sending their children to school
In the words of W.B. Yeats,
“Learning is not the filling of a pail, but lightening of a fire.”
The main objective of elementary education in India in the present and for the future is to develop the children to become highly literate so that they can utilize the information they have learned and the knowledge they have gained effectively. It also hopes to enable children to be able to communicate effectively and make informed decisions so that they can adapt to the various changes taking place in the world. The main areas of focus of SSA are universal access, universal enrolment, universal retention, high-quality elementary education that is free and compulsory for all children.