Sep 17, 2013

Decline of State/UT Data and use of premature UDISE data in RMSA is threat to Country’s education system

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was launched in 2009 with the bjective to enhance access to secondary education and improve its quality. The scheme envisages, inter alia, enhancing enrolment at secondary stage by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation with an objective to ensure GER over 90% by the end of the 12 Plan period and universal retention by 2020. The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers etc.

This was the first year when RMSA switched to UDISE from SEMIS and Ministry of Human Resource Development made Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data mandatory for Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B) 2012-13 without considering the revision in Data Capture Format (DCF) which contains many subjective fields like - section C of the DCF asks

Classes taught – [Primary only=1, Upper primary only=2, Mostly primary=3, Mostly upper primary=4, Secondary only=5, Hr. Secondary only=6, Mostly Secondary=7, Mostly Hr. Secondary =8]

This is important for deciding sanctioned teachers, teachers in position and requirement of teachers, training of teachers, induction training, excursion trips for teachers within and outside the state/UT. The interventions have been decided on these fields which do not reveal actual need of the state.

The field code 7,8 is subjective in nature. Teachers appointed in a high school having classes VI-X may teach all five classes. There may be many permutations and combinations. It is difficult to arrive at any conclusion with these subjective fields.

Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR), derived from this can not reflect correct picture. However sanctions have been accorded in the light of this which seems unfair to achieve the target of USE.

·         The B (I).item 3 under "Physical facilities and equipment" of the DCF reads -

 Land available for Additional Classrooms [Yes=1, No=2]

UDISE Data captured under this field and decision to accord upgradation of upper primary school into secondary school or otherwise based on the data of availability of land  may not be appropriate because RMSA  provision for a school is “at least two additional class rooms should be built in one secondary school  and at least four additional class rooms, two sections each for classes IX & X should be built in one upgraded upper primary schools, one Integrated Science Laboratory- for Physics, Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics One room for Principal, One room for teacher and staff, of adequate size as per state govt. norm for office staff,  Girls’ Activity Room, Computer room/ laboratory,Art/ Craft/ Culture,Laboratory and Library”

Upgradation of school in States/UTs are being sanctioned or denied on the basis of UDISE data and States/UTs data were not considered for approving new school.

·        Data variations with respect to strengthening of existing secondary school especially for approval of additional class room, science lab, art/craft/culture room, computer lab, toilet block, rams, disabled friendly toilet, etc. In this data also, there are huge gap but MHRD again taken this data for approval of above mentioned items for States/UTs. Again States/UTs data denied because it was said that it is not proper.

·        UDISE DATA has implications on teacher requirement, teacher in position, teacher recruitment, teacher training, new appointed teacher, subjects teacher, music teacher, sports teacher, language teacher, art/craft/culture teacher, computer teacher, etc. in UDISE but again UDISE data was base for approving proposals of the States/UTs. In this also, States/UTs data were denied resulting in suffering of children.

·        Data variation in enrolment in feeder school which helps in approving new secondary school in any un-served area of the country. Again States/UTs data were denied.

·        Data variations in enrolment of special focus groups e.g. SCs, STs, Educationally Backward Minorities, Girls Enrolment, etc. which finally mislead to any intervention being carried out at national level or state level.

·        There is 6 month gap  in cut off date of UDISE and financial year and majority of interventions are carried out in states in 6 months which is captured next year UDISE. Hence it is not appropriate for considering the annual plan submitted at the fag end of the financial year.

AWP&B 2013-14 of RMSA of States like Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, West Bengal were with a direction to correct the UDISE.

State project directors instructed their officials to get the data of UDISE in the light of RMSA requirements. Thus manipulation in data cannot be ruled out. In the same department of Ministry, UDISE data was not mandatory for approval of plans of the States/UTs while SSA is flagship programme of Government of India.

National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), the custodian of the data was never contacted before approval of any plan of the States/UTs whereas data validation is the responsibility of this university. Interestingly, UDISE of RMSA remained the source for providing data for providing information to the parliament. MHRD officials do not hesitate in misleading the parliament. It will be more interesting to know that in the same department of MHRD, SSA relied on the State’s data where RMSA relied on UDISE. Use of premature UDISE becomes a bench mark which has has adverse implications in future years.

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