Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), is an Indian Government scheme programme which aim is the universalisation of elementary education “in a time bound manner”, as mandated by the 86th Amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 a fundamental right. The programme was firstly started by former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
As an intervention programme, SSA has been operational since 2000-2001The expenditure on the programme was shared by the Central Government (85%) and the State Governments. The Central share was funded by a number of external agencies, including the World Bank and UNICEF. By 2001, more than US$1500 million had been committed to the programme, and 50 million children covered in its ambit. It is concluded by the government that the investment in SSA was not a waste, because it introduced a new approach to primary school interventions in India.
The Right to Education Act (RTE) came into force on 1 April 2010. Some educationists and policy makers believe that, with the passing of this act, SSA has acquired the necessary legal force for its implementation.
In 2011-12, the Government of India allocated INR 21,000 crore for this project.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a programme for Universal Elementary Education. This programme is also an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children through provision of community -owned quality education in a mission mode.
- Programme with a clear time frame for universal elementary education.
- A response to the demand for quality basic education all over the country.
- An opportunity for promoting social justice through basic education.
- A expression of political will for universal elementary education across the country.
- A partnership between the central, state and the local government.
- An opportunity for states to develop their own vision of elementary education.
- To provide useful and elementary education for all children in the 6-14 age group.
- To bridge social, regional and gender gaps with the active participation of community in the management of schools.
- To allow children to learn about and master their natural environment in order to develop their potential both spiritually and materially.
- To inculcate value-based learning this allows children an opportunity to work for each other’s well being rather than to permit mere selfish pursuits.
- To realize the importance of Early Childhood Care and education and looks at the 0-14 age as a continuum.
- All children in school. Education Guarantee Centre, Alternate School, ‘Back-to-School’ camp by 2003.
- All children complete five years of primary schooling by 2007.
- All children complete of elementary schooling by 2010.
- Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life.
- Bridge all gender and social category gaps at primary stage by 2007 and at elementary education level by 2010.
- It provides a wide convergent frame work for implementation of Elementary Education schemes.
- It is also a programme with budget provision for strengthening vital areas to achieve universalisation of elementary education.