SSA grading of States is prelude to 'targeted funding' under the scheme

SSA grading of States is prelude to 'targeted funding' under the scheme

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry recently graded all States and Union Territories in a first-ever mid-term evaluation of their progress in achieving the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) targets that each of them had “agreed upon” at the time of getting the Ministry's approval to their plan proposals for the current fiscal.

Grading of the States under the SSA would eventually lead to the introduction of targeted funding by the Centre for implementation of the scheme.

Developed by the Ministry as a half-yearly review exercise, the grading will further be structured into phases with each subsequent phase introducing “a new or supplementary” SSA components, targets and focus areas.

The subsequent phases will expand the grading system to include “output and outcome level indicators.”

“Subsequent phases will strengthen the grading system into a matrix for measuring financial efficiency and performance effectiveness; making it an integral part of the annual work planning and budgeting exercise under the SSA,” according to the HRD Ministry.

The results of the national achievement survey to be conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in November this year to evaluate class-wise and subject-wise minimum learning outcome of the elementary school students every year will also be taken into consideration in performance grading of the States.

“This will enable the grading system to systematically develop from an input orientation to outcome orientation,” a Ministry official said.

The Ministry has begun the grading exercise following a suggestion from the Niti Aayog, The government's think Tank, which wants the Ministry to link SSA funding with the States performance and output.

“The grading exercise will enable each State and Union Territory to benchmark its performance vis-a-vis other States and Union Territories.

This will facilitate interstate learning. The half-yearly grading exercise is conceived as an important enabler of the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism in the elementary education system in India,” the Ministry said in an official note.

Karnataka emerged as one of the severely under-performing States in the mid-term review with the HRD Ministry placing the State in the grade scale of 41-50 out of 100, putting it along side Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu in terms of its performance in achieving the SSA targets so far.

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