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PROJECT STARS

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    9th Jul, 2020

The World Bank has approved a new project worth $500 million to improve learning outcome and governance of government schools in six Indian states.

Context

The World Bank has approved a new project worth $500 million to improve learning outcome and governance of government schools in six Indian states.

About

  • The project, named STARS (Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program), will be implemented through the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship central scheme, in partnership with-
    • Himachal Pradesh
    • Kerala
    • Madhya Pradesh
    • Maharashtra
    • Odisha
    • Rajasthan
  • The STARS program builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank, since 1994, for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing ‘Education for All’.
  • Among other things, the World Bank initiative will focus directly on the delivery of education services at the state, district and sub district levels by providing customized local-level solutions towards school improvement.
  • Prior to STARS, the Bank had provided a total assistance of more than $3 billion towards this goal.

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan

  • Samagra Shiksha - an Integrated Scheme for School Education has been launched throughout the country as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with effect from the year 2018-19.
  • This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of
    • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
    • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
    • Teacher Education (TE)
  • It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
  • It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels.

The need of such initiative

  • India has, over the years, made significant strides in improving access to education across the country; between 2004-05 and 2018-19, the number of children going to school increased from 219 million to 248 million, according to the multilateral agency.
  • However, learning outcomes across age groups remain below par.
  • In a recent report, UNESCO had said that countries including India need to focus on inclusion of students from underprivileged background in crisis times like the current covid-19 pandemic.
  • India’s human capital needs to be strengthened via foundational learning for children.
  • STARS will support India’s renewed focus on addressing the ‘learning outcome’ challenge and help students better prepare for the jobs of the future – through a series of reform initiatives.

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