Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan – SSA Full Form, Objectives, Importance

By Balaji

Updated on: February 23rd, 2023

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan translates to ‘education for all campaign’ and SSA is a flagship programme of the Indian Government that started in 2001. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme, also called the SSA scheme, aims to ensure the universalisation of elementary education in a time-bound way as per Article- 21A. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Indian prime minister, launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme with the aim of providing elementary education to all children from ages 6 to 14.

This was also declared in the 86th Constitutional Amendment. Approximately 206 million children in the year 2001 have a fundamental right to receive free and compulsory education. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is under the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD).

Table of content

  • 1. What is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan? (more)
  • 2. SSA Full Form (more)
  • 3. Main Features of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (more)
  • 4. Objectives of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (more)
  • 5. Role of SSA in Universalisation of Elementary Education (more)
  • 6. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan DPEP (more)
  • 7. Ministries Involved in SSA Scheme (more)
  • 8. Government Initiatives under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (more)
  • 9. Defects of Sarva Shikha Abhiyan (more)
  • 10. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan UPSC (more)

What is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan?

The Government of India launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) initiative in 2001 intending to attain the universalisation of elementary education (UEE). The Indian Constitution’s Article 21(A) promises compulsory and free education for children ages 6 to 14 as a basic right, giving the SSA its legal foundation.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan PDF

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan began as an intervention plan in 2002, and SSA was functioning from 2000-2001. Throughout multiple stages, the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) covered 272 districts in 18 states across the nation.

  • The State Governments (15%) and the Central Government (85%) split the programme’s cost.
  • Several other organizations, notably the World Bank, the Department for International Development (DFID), and UNICEF, provided funding for the Central share of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme.
  • By 2001, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan had received over $1500 million in funding, with 50 million youngsters under its umbrella.

On April 1, 2010, the Right to Education Act (RTE) was enacted. Some educators and decision-makers think that the passage of this law has given SSA the legal authority to execute it.

SSA Full Form

The full Form of SSA is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The SSA Scheme is anchored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GoI).

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme Highlights
SSA Full Form in Education Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Year When Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was Launched 2001
Aim of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Universalization access to elementary education

Main Features of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

SSA is referred to as a campaign that promotes “Education for All.” Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the architect of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan initiative.

A few key facts about Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have listed below-

  • This programme is being carried out by the Central Government in collaboration with the State Governments.
  • The SSA’s original deadline for achieving its goals was 2010, although it has since been extended.
  • Aiming to serve 1.1 million households with 193 million children, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme strives to build infrastructural facilities for education.
  • The Constitutional 86th Amendment Act gave the SSA legal support when it mandated compulsory and free education for children between the ages of 6 and 14.
  • The New Education Policy 2020 seeks to reintegrate roughly two crores of out-of-school kids.
  • Approximately 6.2 crore school kids (those between the ages of 6 and 18) were not enrolled in school in 2015, according to the National Education Policy of 2019.
  • A component of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan is Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat.
  • To track the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project, the government has developed a portal named “Shagun.” It was created by the World Bank and the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Objectives of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Following the passing of the Right to Education Act in 2010, the SSA adopted a comprehensive strategy to achieve its goals. The goals of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are to improve management, planning, teacher preparation, and curriculum. The following is a list of SSA’s broad goals:

  • To establish new schools in areas with no existing educational institutions.
  • To make the current school infrastructure stronger.
  • To offer alternative educational facilities.
  • To build new schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • To expand the number of classrooms, bathrooms, and water fountains in the schools.
  • Grants for school improvement must continue.
  • Another Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan objective is to give children free uniforms and textbooks.
  • To strengthen the teaching staff in schools where there is a teacher shortage. These schools are provided with additional teachers.
  • To improve and increase the capabilities of the current teachers at the schools by- Provisions for Extensive Training, Managing the grants allows for the development of teaching materials. At the cluster, block, and district levels, the academic support infrastructure is being bolstered.
  • To give pupils both quality education and life skills.
  • Promoting the schooling of children who are differently abled or who have special needs, as well as the schooling of girls (the larger goal is to transform women’s position).
  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Development also states that the SSA aims to provide children of members of the following groups with equitable educational opportunities for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Muslims, Landless Labourers etc.
  • By providing computer instruction to kids, SSA also aims to close the digital gap by understanding the academic needs of historically underserved groups.
  • Providing universal access, enrollment, retention, and excellent elementary-level education for all children are the key areas of attention under the Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE).

Prior to 2010, the SSA’s time-bound objectives were: All kids should finish 5 years of elementary school by 2007.

  • By 2010, every youngster will have finished eight years of school.
  • By 2007 and 2010, the social and gender category inequalities in primary education will be closed.

Role of SSA in Universalisation of Elementary Education

The Constitution of India has supported the cause of the Universalisation of Elementary Education through the provisions given below:

National Education Policy, 1986 The policy referred to the need for all students to remain in school until they turn 14 years old. Additionally, it stated that before India enters the 21st century, children up to the age of 14 shall receive a free, mandatory education that meets international standards.
Constitutional Mandate of 1950 It stated that up to the age of 14, all kids should get free and mandatory education from the government.

The mandate specified that the State should try to accomplish this within 10 years of the Indian Constitution’s entry into force.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan DPEP

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is also referred to as ‘SSA’ & DPEP refers to the District Primary Education Programme. This programme was launched on similar lines as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

  • DPEP was launched in 1994 with a special emphasis on elementary education. It aims to reinvigorate primary education & to emphasize the importance of primary education in the country.
  • DPEP is sponsored by the central government. The scheme aims to achieve maximum coverage while making education available to all without any partial approach.
  • On the other hand, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan majorly focuses on girl children & the students belonging to weak sections of society.
  • The District Primary Education Programme also aims to increase the percentage of retention among students in primary schools.

Ministries Involved in SSA Scheme

Merging programs and initiatives from different Ministries and Departments is a fundamental tenet of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s implementation to meet its goal. The following plans and programmes from different ministries and departments are noted to intersect with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan:

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHandFW)

Give the Model Cluster School services and regularly examine your general health by visiting referral hospitals, government hospitals, or PHC.

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

  • Expand the Midday Meal Program to all schools that qualify
  • National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)
  • Enable admissions that are age-appropriate

Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD)

State PWDs

Provision for geospatial technologies to facilitate social mapping and school mapping practices at the grass root level

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoSJ and E and MOTA)

Merging of necessary funds to construct residential facilities is the major responsibility of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Government Initiatives under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Numeorus initiatives taken by the Government helps in enhancing and levelling up the education system in India. The table below lists the plans and initiatives taken up under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan:

Initiative under SSA Scheme Key Facts
Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat Objective: To work to uplift the writing and reading skills of students from Class I and Class II, along with their skills in mathematics.

It follows a dual aspect:

Early Reading and Writing with Comprehension – To work on children’s development of linguistic skills by improving their writing and reading using comprehension.

Early Mathematics – To encourage interest in Mathematics by rooting it in the social and physical world.

Shagun Portal To track the growth of SSA. This was introduced in 2017.
Shaala – Siddhi School Standard Evaluation Programme (Shaala – Siddhi) is a programme to aid in achieving SSA’s goals.
Swachh Vidyalaya National Campaign: Clean India: Clean Schools

Objective: To ensure a functioning source to provide clean water, proper hygiene, and sanitation.

Defects of Sarva Shikha Abhiyan

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been able to achieve many of its main objectives yet has faced failure at several ends. The drawbacks or defects of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have been listed below-

  • Even after the programme, an estimated 29% of children have dropped out of school even before finishing 5 years of their primary education.
  • More than 40% of students have been estimated to drop out of school before finishing middle school.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has failed to employ an appropriate number of teachers in schools all over the country for all educational levels in schools.
  • The programme has failed to provide quality education and has given no assurance of successful learning outcomes.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan UPSC

The SSA UPSC topic is important for the upcoming IAS Exam as it is a flagship programme, and questions from Government schemes are often asked in both prelims and mains. Candidates can download the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Notes for their preparation, including all related information about the SSA Scheme. Aspirants should also go through the latest current affairs to remain updated.

UPSC Notes
Cultural and Educational Rights Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Ayushman Bharat Scheme
Amrut Scheme Adopt a Heritage Scheme
Ujjawala Scheme Start Up India Scheme
Vivad se Vishwas Scheme Svamitva Scheme
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