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Equity - Introduction
Bridging gender and social gaps is one of the four goals of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Equity issue addresses special groups such as girls and children belonging to SC, ST and Muslim minority communities, urban deprived children, children affected by periodic migration and children living in remote and scattered habitations. The state has proposed interventions for addressing equity issues of the following groups:
  • Scheduled Caste
  • Scheduled Tribes
  • Minorities – with specific focus on Muslims
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Girls
  • Children in Migrant Families
  • Child Labour
  • Children without adult protection
  • Urban Deprived Children (UDC)
  • Children With Special Needs (CWSN)

While preparing the equity plan for the current year following were taken into consideration:
  • Framework for implementation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan based on the right of the children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
  • A National Vision for Girls’ education in India – Roadmap to 2015.
  • Human development mission of the State of Maharashtra and other State efforts.

Strategy for the coming year (2012-13):
Taking into consideration the focus in the SSA framework and the documents mentioned above, the State has adopted the following strategy:-
  • Rigorous Data Collection and Analysis of DISE and School Development Plan :-
    • The State has for the first time attempted to build the plan on the basis of School Development Plans (SDPs) of 98000+ elementary schools of the State.
    • Each SDP was put online through specially designed web based software.
    • The rigorous process was put in place for improving the timely collection of DISE data and its authenticity.
    • This data has been analyzed to understand the social and gender gaps in Maharashtra. (The DISE and SDP data segregated by SC, ST, Minority, Girls and Boys).
  • Convergence :-
    • Convergence with other Govt. of India’s Programmes like NRHM, PYKKA, ICDS, ASHA, total sanitation campaign and Govt. of Maharashtra’s other Programmes.
  • Systemic Issues in Gender Programme :-
    • The long-term objective under the Gender Equality Programme is to transform unequal gender relations and bring about systemic change; the State would like to include boys and men more significantly in the programme. In light of the above Meena Manch has been transformed into Meena Raju Manch in order to include boys in the process of transformation of gender relationships.
  • Focus on community participation :-
    • Under the Shiksha ka Haq Abhiyan, we propose to galvanize the community to participate proactively in equity issues.
    • The barefoot counselors to work as a link between school and the community in ensuring enrollment and regular attendance.
    • Maa-Beti Melava particularly in minority concentrated districts and model clusters under NPEGEL.
  • Quality with equity :-
    • In order to bring equity in quality it is necessary to involve all children meaningfully in the process of learning. Therefore, the State proposes to use sports, art and craft as instruments for contextualized, participatory, activity based joyful learning and through this seek community participation as a knowledge partner.
  • Vocational Education with Certification for employability :-
    • The State has also proposed to impart pre-vocational skills to students through a certificate course of at least 6 months duration by Govt. approved agency like NIOS, ITI and MES particularly for students from deprived sections and disadvantaged groups like minority, SC/ST and NPEGEL clusters.
  • Sensitization and orientation of officers and field functionaries :-
    • Supervisory officers of the School Education Dept. like Education Officers, Dy. Education Officers, ADEIs, cluster coordinators and head masters.
    • Block level officers of other departments like social welfare, tribal, women and child, health, RDD and police with special reference to RTE compliance in the area of equity.
    • Equity module in teacher training to bring in inclusive classrooms.
  • Curriculum, textbooks, reference material for promoting equity :-
    The State is rigorously working on the following initiatives in this regard:
    • Development and piloting of Bilingual textbooks in 11 tribal languages for Class I to IV.
    • Development of language dictionaries in 11 tribal languages.
    • Handbook for non-tribal teachers teaching in tribal areas to understand the socio-cultural milieu of the tribal child with the help of Tribal Research and Training Institution in order to help teachers to contextualize learning.
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