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Launched in 2014 by the HRD Minister of India, Smriti Irani, Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat can be regarded as a countrywide programme being implemented under the aegis of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. It has normally been seen that kids who are unable to read during their early education tend to be bad in other subjects as well. The programme looks to improve the reading and writing skills of children in classes I and II, along with their mathematics skills.
As part of the programme, an aggregate amount of INR 762 crore had been approved for the states. Apart from this, the union government had also sanctioned INR 2352.57 crore to the states and union territories so that they could improve their existing quality programmes. The programme provides several facilities such as an ideal environment full of books and reading material for children and timely distribution of the same. It is also supposed to have an appraisal system as well as mentoring of new teachers. The teachers are expected to play a major part in the programme becoming successful in the long run and they are responsible for finishing the curriculum in the prescribed time. The teaching will primarily be done in mother tongue.
Objectives of the programme
The programme aims at making children keen and self-sufficient readers and writers. It also enables them to possess comprehension skills that last for a lifetime. They should also be educated as per the standards of children in their particular age group. It also helps children understand the basic logic behind phenomena such as number, shapes, and measurement. They should also be able to solve problems by using skills related to understanding of spaces and numbers. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat also aims to help them understand the joy of reading and writing from a real life perspective. The programme also looks to emphasize on the importance of children’s literature in helping kids become good readers and writers. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat also aims to make sure that schools across the country become better at providing quality education. From a bigger perspective, it looks to create the base that children need to successfully transition to higher classes and do properly over there as well.
Management structure of programme
At the central level, the programme is being monitored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The state level functionaries are State Project Director of SSA, State Programme Officer (Pedagogy) of SSA, and Director of State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT). In the districts, the programme is being looked after by the District Education Officer (DEO) or the District Probation Office (DPO) and at the block level the Block Education Offices (BEOs) are taking care of the same
Support being provided by the central government to state government
The Government of India is helping the state governments carry out the programme in an effective manner. Some of the various ways in this regard may be mentioned as below:
Regional planning seminars for capacity planning
Teacher training modules
Proper process documentation
Books, magazines, and similar resources
Sensitizing education secretaries in states and union territories
Rounding up – benefit of the programme
There are so many good things that can be said about the programme. First of all, with this programme India has taken a step towards doing what is already being done in First World countries such as the US – making sure that the maximum possible children are able to access primary education and thus have a good chance at doing well in life. A rather special aspect of the programme is its emphasis on mother tongue on initiating children to the joys of literature and mathematics – two very fundamentally important subjects. Normal logic would dictate that the process be done using English but since this programme targets students that are lagging behind, it is a good idea to first ease them in by using a language they are comfortable with, and then introducing them to books in English, which is something that they will need to master in order to do well in life.