Vinod Shankar Bairwa*
Secondary Education is a crucial stage in the
educational hierarchy as it prepares the students
for higher education and also the world of work.
With the liberalization and globalization of the
Indian economy, the rapid changes witnessed in
scientific and technological world and the general
need to improve the quality of life and to reduce
poverty, it is essential that school leavers acquire
a higher level of knowledge and skills than what
they are provided in the eight years of elementary
education, particularly when the average earning of
a secondary school certificate holder is
significantly higher than that of a person who has
studied only up to class VIII.
The policy at present is to make secondary education
of good quality available, accessible and affordable
to all young persons in the age group of 14-18.
At present, the following schemes targeted at
secondary stage (i.e. class IX to XII) are being
implemented in the form of Centrally Sponsored
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in
2009 with the objective to universalise access to
secondary education and improve its quality. The
scheme envisages inter alia, to enhance the
enrolment at secondary stage by providing a
secondary school within a reasonable distance of any
habitation, with an aim to ensure GER of 100% by
i.e., by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and
achieving universal retention by 2020.During
last three year, opening of 9670 new secondary
schools and strengthening of existing 34311
secondary schools have been sanctioned. Against
sanction for opening of 9670 new secondary schools,
906 new secondary schools have been sanctioned in
the minority concentration districts.
Out of opening of 9670 new secondary schools, 7303
secondary schools have become functional. Further,
283 new school buildings have been constructed and
about 2500 new secondary school buildings are at
different stages of construction. To improve the
Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) in the existing secondary
schools, appointment of 52352 additional teachers
have also been approved. In the new secondary
schools, 12591 teachers have also been recruited.
Model School Scheme
The Model School scheme was launched in November
2008 in pursuance to the announcement of the Prime
Minister in his Independence Day speech of 2007.The
Model School Scheme aims to provide quality
education to talented rural children through setting
up 6000 model schools as benchmark of excellence at
block level at the rate of one school per block. The
scheme is under implementation since 2009-10. 3,500
schools are to be set up in as many educationally
backward blocks (EBBs) through States/UTs.
A total of
1956 model schools have so far been approved, out of
which 438 have become functional. The
modalities for the PPP Model schools were approved
by the Government on 24 November, 2011 and
2500 model school are to be set up under the
Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode.
Girls’ Hostel Scheme
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for “Construction and
Running of Girls’ Hostels for Students of Secondary
and Higher Secondary Schools” was launched in
2008-09 and is being implemented from 2009-10. The
Scheme envisages construction of a hostel with the
capacity of 100 girls in each of about 3,500
Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) in the country.
The main objective of the Scheme is to improve
access to and retain the girl child in Secondary and
Higher Secondary classes (IX-XII) so that the girl
students are not denied the opportunity to continue
their study due to distance to school, parents’
financial affordability and other connected societal
on 31st March, 2012, 1925 hostels have been
recommended by Project Approval Board (PAB) and an
amount of Rs. 300.93 crore has been released for
construction of 958 hostels in 13 States.
The girl students in the age group of 14-18 years,
studying in classes IX and XII belonging to SC, ST,
OBC, Minority communities and BPL families will form
the target group of the Scheme. Students passing out
of KGBV will be given preference in admission in
hostels. At least 50% of girls admitted will be from
SC, ST, OBC and Minority communities.
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
in Schools Scheme was launched in December, 2004 to
provide opportunities to secondary stage students to
mainly build their capacity on ICT skills and make
them learn through computer aided learning process.
The Scheme is a major catalyst to bridge the
digital divide amongst students of various socio
economic and other geographical barriers.
Based on the experience gained so far, the Scheme
was revised, in July 2010.The
scheme currently covers both Government and
Government aided Secondary and Higher Secondary
Financial assistance is provided for
procurement of computers and peripherals,
educational software, training of teachers,
development of e-contents, internet connectivity &
setting up of smart schools, setting
up the requisite infrastructure to impart computer
literacy and computer aided learning has been
for 94752 government and government aided
secondary and higher secondary schools.
Financial assistance is given to States, CIET and
SIETs on the basis of the approvals accorded by
Project Monitoring and Evaluation Group (PMEG)
chaired by Secretary (School Education and
Literacy). The project cost is shared between
Centre and States in ration of 75:25 except for the
NER states including Sikkim where it is 90:10.
Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage
The Scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at
Secondary Stage (IEDSS) was launched in 2009-10
replacing the earlier scheme of Integrated Education
for Disabled Children (IEDC).
It provides assistance for the inclusive
education of the disabled children in classes
The aim of the Scheme is to enable all students with
disabilities, after completing eight years of
elementary schooling, to pursue further four years
of secondary schooling (classes IX to XII) in an
inclusive and enabling environment.
Central assistance for all items covered in
the scheme is on 100 per cent basis.
The State Governments are only required to make
provisions for a scholarship of Rs. 600 per disabled
child per annum.
The School Education Department of the State
Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations is
the implementing agency. They may involve NGOs
having experience, in the field of education of the
disabled, in the implementation of the scheme.
4,00,241 disabled children have been approved
for coverage since
inception of the scheme.
Vocationalisation of Secondary Education
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Vocationalisation
of Secondary Education provides for diversification
of educational opportunities so as to enhance
individual employability, reduce the mismatch
between demand and supply of skilled manpower and
provides an alternative for those pursuing higher
scheme was initially launched in 1988. To make
improvement in this scheme, the revised scheme was
approved on 15 September, 2011.
The revisions were suggested to address the
issues of low esteem of vocational education in the
country, weak synergy with industry in planning and
execution, lack of vertical and horizontal mobility,
redundant courses and curricula as well as paucity
of trained vocational education teachers.
It is also envisages that strengthening of
vocational education at the secondary stage would
contribute to the national target of 500 million
skilled manpower by 2022.
The Scheme provides for financial assistance to the
States to set up administrative structure, area
vocational surveys, preparation of curriculum, text
book, work book curriculum guides, training manual,
teacher training programme, strengthening technical
support system for research and development,
training and evaluation etc. It also provides
financial assistance to NGOs and voluntary
organizations towards implementation of specific
innovative projects for conducting short-term
The Scheme, so far, has created infrastructure of
21000 sections in 9619 schools and creating a
capacity of about 10 lakh students at + 2 level. The
grants released so far since the inception of the
scheme is Rs. 765 crore.
National Vocational Education Qualifications
The HRD Ministry is seized with the problems of low
rates of enrolment and school drop outs at Secondary
and Higher Secondary levels and thereafter in Higher
Education. The Ministry is in the process of
developing the NVEQF.
The Framework would bring about uniformity in
standards of vocational courses being offered, by
registration of vocational qualification and
accreditation of programmes and institutions.
NVEQF levels will be introduced in Secondary
and Higher Secondary Schools, Polytechnics,
Universities & Colleges for seamless pathways and
The draft NVEQF has been formulated in
consultation with State Governments as well as a
Group of State Education Ministers.
National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary
The Centrally sponsored scheme “National Scheme of
Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education (NSIGSE)”
was launched in May 2008 with the objective to
establish an enabling environment to reduce the
drop-outs and to promote the enrolment of girl child
belonging mainly to SC/ST communities in secondary
According to the scheme, a sum of Rs.3,000/-
is deposited in the name of eligible unmarried girls
as fixed deposit, who are entitled to withdraw it
along with interest thereon on reaching 18 years of
age and passing 10th standard examination. The
scheme covers - all girls belonging to SC/ST
communities who pass class VIII and all girls who
pass VIII examination from Kasturba Gandhi Balika
Vidyalayas (irrespective of whether they belong to
SC/ST) and enrol in class IX in Government,
Government-aided and local body schools.
Canara bank is the implementing agency for the
scheme. It has developed a web based portal recently
to implement the scheme. The portal will facilitate
on line submission of data of the beneficiaries and
on line disbursement of incentive amount on maturity
into their accounts directly after certification by
the State Nodal Officer on line that the beneficiary
is 18 years old and passed class X examination.
Funds released during last 3 years are - Rs. 45.798
crore/for 152660 girls of 14 states/UTs (2009-10),
Rs. 72.458 crore/ for 241528 girls of 15
states/UTs (2010-11) and
Rs. 163.059 crore /for 543532 girls of 25
Central Board of Secondary Education
CBSE has strengthened the Continuous and
Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and School Based
Assessment of education in all the schools
affiliated to the Board from August 2009 and also
made class X Board Examination optional for the
students of Senior Secondary schools affiliated to
In addition to the above the Central Sector schemes
of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya
Vidyalaya Sangathan (NVS), Central Tibetan Schools
Administration (CTSA), Indo-Mangolian Schools are
*Media & Communication Officer, PIB, New Delhi.