Progress During 2011-12
Saakshar Bharat is being implemented in a phased manner with optimum utilisation of financial resources. A district, including a new district carved out of an erstwhile district that had adult female literacy rate of 50 percent or below, as per 2001 census, is eligible for coverage under the Saakshar Bharat programme. In addition, all Left Wing Extremism Affected (LWEA) districts, irrespective of their literacy rate, are also eligible for coverage under the programme. Accordingly, 410 districts qualify for coverage including 35 LWEA districts. In order to maintain continuity and ensure optimum utilisation of existing asset and human resource, to the extent possible, 167 districts which were earlier covered under Continuing Education Programme of National Literacy Mission were covered during 2009-10. Likewise, taking into account the state of preparedness of various states/UT to implement Saakshar Bharat Programme, 115 districts were sanctioned during 2010-11. During 2011-12 another 90 districts have been sanctioned. The programme is now under implementation in 25 States and 1 UT and covering about 1.61 lakh Gram Panchayats in 372 districts.
Formation of Management Committees, opening of Bank Accounts, Authorisation of Funds to different implementing agencies etc. were undertaken during the year at an accelerated pace. Reconstitution of State Literacy Mission Authorities in 25 out of 26 States/UT has so far been completed. District Level Management Committees have been constituted in 263 of 372 districts. Management Committees have also been set up in nearly 75% (3304) of the 4362 Blocks and over a lakh Gram Panchayats. Bank Accounts at district (70%), Block (65%) have been opened.
Survey and identification of potential learners
Survey has been conducted in about 50% (77,226) of the sanctioned GPs during the year and about 4 Crore potential learners have been identified based on the survey. The survey data in respect of 1.77 Crore potential learners has been uploaded on Saakshar Bharat portal during this period. The survey also identified the potential Volunteer Teachers (VTs) for the programme and helped to prepare proper batching matching of the learners with the available Volunteer Teachers.
Setting up of Adult Education Centers
Saakshar Bharat programme provides funds for setting up of at least one Adult Education Centre in each Gram Panchayat of the areas covered under the programme. In 372 districts covered so far, 90,193 Adult Education Centres have been set up in as many GPs to provide continuing education facilities like literacy, reading room, providing awareness and short duration programmes for improvement of the living and working conditions of the adults of the rural areas in these Panchayats. Literacy classes are also being organised in some of the Adult Education Centres.
Training of functionaries
The programme envisages setting up of literacy learning centres for adults under Basic Literacy Programme. One Volunteer Teacher is required to teach 10 adult learners. Over ten lakh Volunteer Teachers have been trained so far by the Master Trainers at the rate of 20 VTs trained by one Master Trainer. Similarly, about one lakh Master Trainers have been trained by the Resource Persons at the rate of 30 Master Trainers per one Resource Person. About six thousand Resource Persons have also been trained. Over one lakh Preraks engaged to organise AECs have also been given orientation and training. State Resource Centres assisted the State Literacy Mission Authorities in imparting training to functionaries.
Distribution of literacy primers
State Resource Centres have developed Basic Literacy Primers in different languages. These primers have been approved by Quality Assurance Committee of the Directorate of Adult Education, Govt. of India. SLMAs have got these primers printed for use in Basic Literacy Programme. About 11 lakh Basic Literacy Primers were distributed for use by the literacy learners. Some of the SLMAs faced difficulty in getting large number of primers printed and making the same available to learners in time.
Teaching Learning activities
Under Basic Literacy programme, funds have been sanctioned to SLMAs for covering 26 million adult non-literates in basic literacy. About 10 lakh literacy learning centers have started functioning in different states of the country. The first quarterly, review (upto June 2011) indicated functioning of 3.5 lakh literacy centres with an enrolment of about 2.5 million learners. By the middle of the year, number of literacy classes increased to 5.3 lakh and enrolment to 6.2 million. In third quarter, the number of literacy learning centres increased to
10 lakh and enrolment to 11.4 million. Total enrollment under basic literacy is expected to go up to 15 million by the end of this financial year.
Assessment of Learners
Assessment of competence of the population in literacy skills is important for getting feedback of the success and outcome of the programme. It would also promote courage, self confidence and self actualization among the learners. First time in India National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) undertook nationwide learners assessment in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The basic literacy assessment programme of NLMA is a massive programme which demands the active involvement of various governmental and non-governmental institutions. The system of learner’s assessment includes assessing literacy skills as well as general awareness and empowerment through participation in various activities. Following are the rationale for learner’s assessment:
- I. Gains in literacy skills facilitates the learner to participate in life long learning process through formal and non-formal system.
- II. The assessment process helps build self-esteem of the learner and provide valuable feedback to the programme.
- III. Participation in literacy and centre based activities contributes to the learners overall personal and social developments.
- IV. Building self-esteem and self-confidence of the learner have been recognized as important components of the Saakshar Bharat Programme.
- V. Active participation in developmental process at the grassroots level requires awareness and empowerment of the learners.
Learners are assessed in Reading, Writing and Numeracy. Each component has been given 50 marks and total score for all three components is 150 marks. There are three levels of grades A, B & C. The person getting 60% and above marks will be awarded ‘A’ grade (Good). Similarly getting 40% and above will get the ‘B’ grade (Satisfactory) and getting less than 40% marks will get ‘C’ grade (Needs improvement).After the launch of Saakshar Bharat Programme, NLMA conducted one day assessment on 20th August 2010 on pilot basis in 16 States. About 5.18 lakhs neo-literates appeared and about 3.34 lakhs (64.53%) passed in this pilot test. The second assessment was conducted on 6th March 2011 in 14 States. About 43.58 lakhs neo-literates appeared in the assessment test and about 31.02 lakhs (71%) were successful. Third assessment test was conducted on 20 August 2011 in 20 States covering 194 Districts. About 48.77 lakhs neo-literates appeared in the test. The number of successful learners is awaited. The assessment was also conducted for 1479 inmates of Tihar jail who participated in the literacy classes organized by NLMA in collaboration with Tihar jail authorities and SRC Delhi during the year.
Utilisation of Funds
During the financial year, an amount of `488.50 crore was provided for Saakshar Bharat Programme as central share. Till December 2011, an amount of `429 crore was released to SLMAs for implementation of Saakshar Bharat Programme. NLMA released an amount of `325.9 crore and `343.23 crore during 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively. Total amount released by NLMA to SLMAs during the last three years adds to `1098.33 crore.
In an adult education programme training and capacity building of those directly involved in teaching non literate adults is the most critical one. Saakshar Bharat rightly recognizes that teaching an adult is an art which requires specialized set of skills and stresses that quality instructors are the prerequisite for the success of the programme. SRCs that are envisaged to give technical and academic support to the implementation of Saakshar Bharat programme are required to play a more proactive role in handholding and facilitation of SLMAs and other implementing agencies at district level and below. As part of the action plan for 2011-12, SRCs proposed to adopt a select number of Blocks and all its Gram Panchayats in a few sanctioned districts for a more focused facilitation role, besides, the support to the SLMAs, NLMA had organized an exemplar Training of Trainers (TOT) at the national level during 16-20 May, 2011 in New Delhi for the training of SRC Training Coordinators, who would be conducting these trainings in their adopted Blocks. NIC had conducted a National Workshop on Web based Planning and Monitoring System (WePMIS) developed for the implementation of the Saakshar Bharat Mission 2012 scheme. The workshop was conducted for the participants of 26 States at ISTM, New Delhi in two sessions of 2 days each. These were held in September and October, 2011 and over 75 personnel were trained to be Master Trainer for the WePMIS application. NIC officials from all the States also attended the workshop and are now available as support persons for use of the application in their respective states. In order to provide continuous support and handholding to SLMAs for solution of the technical issues relating to portal, NICSI would provide training at SLMAs and SRCs in different states. The handholding teams of NICSI would be positioned at 5 SLMA s and 9 SRCs.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Implementation of the Saakshar Bharat Programme is being monitored regularly at different levels. Delivery Monitoring Unit in PMO monitors it to inform Prime Minister on a quarterly basis about the performance of the programme. Saakshar Bharat’s Result Framework Document (RFD) is regularly monitored by the Cabinet Secretariat.
National Literacy Mission Authority carries out close monitoring of implementation of the programme on a regular basis by organising discussions with SLMAs in different states, organising meetings of SLMAs on quarterly basis and by collecting monthly progress reports. Review meetings were held in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra during the month of April 2011. To review the programme in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, the meeting was held in Tripura under the Chairmanship of Secretary SE&L. DG (NLMA) and concerned officers from Ministry and TSG also participated in these review meetings. Review meetings under the Chairmanship of JS(AE) & DG(NLMA) were also held at Kohima (22-23 July 2011), Karnal (18 July 2011), Raipur (1-3 October 2011), Hyderabad (19-20 November 2011), Rishikesh (25-27 November 2011), Rai Bareilly (3 December 2011) and Bhubaneswar (5 December 2011) to take stock of physical and financial progress of the states of Nagaland, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
Quarterly progress of the programme is reviewed in respect of all states. The first quarterly review of 2011-12 was held on 4-5 July 2011 in New Delhi in which all the SLMAs participated. The half yearly review was organised in Delhi from 12-14 October 2011. Inter alia, issues relating to revision of targets to be achieved by 2011-12 and strategies for acceleration of the programme were discussed.
State Resource Centers have also been assigned the task of providing support for implementation of Saakshar Bharat Programme in selected areas termed as ‘Islands of Success’. Review of the progress of Saakshar Bharat Programme in these areas is conducted every month. DG(NLMA), and other officers of the AE Bureau and TSG participated in these review meetings.