Guwahati, Aug 7 : The Central Government's premier education for all scheme -- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has received a wonderful response in Assam, especially in Chaygon of Kamrup District, where nearly 500 children with special needs have benefiting from it.
Providing basic elementary education to children between the age group of six to 14 years by 2010 is the objective of SSA. "During the summer vacations, we bring those students who studying in schools to the centers according to the Gaon Panchayat. We give them academic support throughout the whole month," said Hemanta Sharma, a teacher.
Realizing the importance of early childhood care and education, SSA is also being used for ending the social, regional and gender divides by involving the community in the management of the schools.
Latumoni Begum, a volunteer, said, "We give home based education. In our Gaon Pachayat, we have five children to whom we give home education. We first identify who needs what treatment and accordingly takes up the teaching methods."
It has certainly come as a blessing for the young children with special needs.
Thogalabala Das, a parent said, " They come to our home and are helping in my child's education."
Educating the young ones by using various gadgets, the SSA is also helping in improving the infrastructure of the schools. For Assam, which has experienced the curse of militancy for decades, the project with its emphasis on the young ones come a ray of hope, especially for the new generation.
The programme seeks to open new schools in those habitations which do not have schooling facilities and strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional class rooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance grant and school improvement grants.
Existing schools with inadequate teacher strength are provided with additional teachers, while the capacity of existing teachers is being strengthened by extensive training, grants for developing teaching-learning materials and strengthening of the academic support structure at a cluster, block and district level.
SSA seeks to provide quality elementary education including life skills. It has a special focus on girl's education and children with special needs. It also seeks to provide computer education to bridge the digital divide.
Recognising good performance, outlay for SSA has been increased from Rs 7156 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 10004 crore in 2006-07.
Target is to construct 500,000 additional class rooms and to appoint 1,50,000 more teachers.
During 2006-07, it has been decided to transfer Rs 8746 crore to the Prarambhik Siksha Kosh from the revenues raised through the education cess. By Peter Alex Todd