Access & Civil Works
Universalisation of Access, Quality improvements, Equity, Institutional reforms and strengthening of resource institutions are key strategies to achieve the target of Universalizing secondary education. Access herein denotes a universal provision of secondary schools and universal enrolment of children in the age group of 14 to 18 without any discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, caste, place, or socio economic status. A first step towards the same is to have a fully-functional secondary school with required infrastructure, facilities, adequate number of trained teachers, qualitative learning and teaching materials, aids and equipment within accessible distance. Some of the major provisions under Access/Civil Works component of the programme are:
- Construction of new schools
- Additional Classroom,
- Science laboratory with equipment,
- Computer room,
- Art craft and Culture room,
- Toilet blocks and water Facility,
- Major repair, and
- Residential quarters for teachers.
However, access as a standalone feature cannot guarantee complete universalization of secondary education and hence needs to be complemented with adequate provisions for the children to experience success in secondary education. Attainment of minimum levels of learning is used as a scale to measure success; which means that most of students are required to acquire most of the competencies.
Moreover, access also requires to be envisaged in physical, social, cultural and economic terms – all interwoven in a common concept and thus calls for redefining of some of the basic features of the Indian school. For instance, it is critically important that the problems of an orthopedically disabled child is not seen in medical terms alone. Disability is a social construct and the matter does not end by solving the problem at the physical level only, but demands a change in the mind sets of a children, teachers and the curriculum planners or textbook writers. In this sense, a barrier-free physical access helps in waiving off disabilities for children and equips them as the rest of their peers.