PIB Delhi – The Department of School Education and Literacy launched the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy called National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) on 5th July 2021 under the aegis of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha. The mission aims to achieve universal foundationalliteracy and numeracy in primary classes.The Mission Guidelines lays down priorities and actionable agendas for States and UTs to achieve the goal of proficiency in foundational literacy and numeracy for every child by grade 3. Detailed guidelines for the mission have been developed which includes the codification of development goals and learning outcomes for age 3 to 9 years and Lakshya or Targets for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy starting from Balvatikato Grade III. The guidelines for implementation of the NIPUN Bharat mission has been uploaded on the Department’s website under the link mentioned below:

https://dsel.education.gov.in/sites/default/files/NIPUN_BHARAT_GUIDELINES_EN.pdf

As per the NIPUN Bharat implementation guidelines, assessment during the foundational learning can be broadly categorized into two major areas, namely:

    1. School Based Assessment (SBA) through qualitative observation based on performance of the child in a multitude of experiences and activities. Various tools and techniques like anecdotal records, checklist, portfolio, and interactions (through a holistic 360-degree assessment with teacher, peers, family and friends) have been recommended to be used for assessment. Thus, the teachers at the foundational stage need to observe children as they play, work on their task, perform or interact among themselves, to assess children’s interests and learning.
    2. Large-scale standardised assessmentfor assessment of the processes and functioning of the educational systems (such as NAS, SAS, and Third-Party Assessments). The assessment tools commonly used in conducting large scale assessment studies are multiple choice questions (MCQ) and constructed responses are usually avoided to bring in objectivity in the process. These assessments are a mechanism to gauge how well learning is happening in their state, districts, and blocks. In this regard, the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 has been carried out for assessing learning outcome of children in Grade III.

A specialized National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA 3.0) for the foundational literacy and numeracy covering about 25 lakh teachers at the primary level across all states and UTs has been launched in September, 2021.The information was given by the Union Minister of Education, Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

The aim of the redesigned Samagra Shiksha Scheme is to universalize access to school education; to promote equity through the inclusion of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, and to improve the quality of education across all levels of school education from pre-primary to class XII.

The major objectives of the Scheme are: (i) Support States and UTs in implementing the recommendations of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020); (ii) Support States in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; (iii) Focus on Early Childhood Care and  Education; (iv) Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy; (v) Thrust on Holistic, Integrated, Inclusive and activity based Curriculum and Pedagogy to impart 21st century skills among the students; (vi) Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students; (vii) Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education; (viii) Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education; (ix) Strengthening and up-gradation of State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)/State Institutes of Education and District Institutes for Education and Training (DIET) as nodal agency for teacher training; (x) Ensuring safe, secure and conducive learning environment and maintenance of standards in schooling provisions and (xi) Promoting vocational  education.

The major interventions, across all levels of school education, proposed under the scheme are: (i) Universal Access including Infrastructure Development and Retention; (ii) Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, (iii) Gender and Equity; (iv) Inclusive Education; (v) Quality and Innovation; (vi) Financial support for Teacher Salary; (vii) Digital initiatives; (viii) RTE Entitlements including uniforms, textbooks etc.; (ix) Support for ECCE; (x) Vocational Education; (xi) Sports and Physical Education; (xii) Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training; (xiii) Monitoring; (xiv) Programme Management; and (xv) National Component. The redesigned Samagra Shiksha recommends to enhance the direct outreach of the scheme by providing child centric interventions directly to the students through DBT mode.

Under Samagra Shiksha financial assistance is provided to States/ UTs for various ICT and Digital initiatives for setting up of ICT labs, smart classrooms including support for digital boards, virtual classrooms and DTH channels.  States have an option to avail non-recurring grant for setting up of ICT labs in schools having classes 6 to 12 up to Rs. 6.40 lakh per school and recurring grant of up to Rs. 2.40 lakh per school per annum for a period of 5 years OR non-recurring grant of Rs. 2.40 lakh for Smart Class rooms (Maximum 2 smart classrooms per school) and recurring grant of Rs. 0.38 lakh. The recurring cost includes support for instructor, E Content and Digital Resources, Charges for Electricity and Internet connectivity, etc. The information was given by the Union Minister of Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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