Government will universalise secondary education: Patil

Monday, February 21, 2011

NEW DELHI - President Pratibha Patil Monday said that after Right to Education for primary education, the government is committed to universalising secondary education.

“My government is committed to universalizing secondary education through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan. Girls’ hostels are being set up in each of the 3,500 educationally backward blocks in the country to bring secondary education within the reach of girls,” the president said addressing a joint sitting of both houses of parliament on the first day of the budget session.

“The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act is another step in my government’s approach to right-based governance. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been aligned to the implementation of this act. It has been scaled up to universalise elementary education with a universal mid-day meal programme to improve both enrolment and retention,” she said in her hour-long speech.

Focusing on adult literacy, the president said that government’s flagship Saakshar Bharat programme will be spread to more districts.

“The Saakshar Bharat programme is designed to improve adult literacy, especially among the disadvantaged sections of society. By 2012, it will extend to all 365 districts that have poor adult female literacy levels,” she said.

Patil added that the government is taking steps to effect changes in the Apprenticeship Act “to introduce a large number of modular training courses, and to make skills training bankable”.

The Apprenticeship Act requires firms to reserve 50 percent of new jobs for apprentices trained by them.

“Our country has a huge advantage in terms of being a young nation. Our young people have to be invested with skills if we are to reap the demographic dividend,” she added.

Filed under: Education

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