Monday, January 14, 2008

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - A start

I was able to start today, our research on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The objective, as I see it, is to identify issues with the SSA (especially its implementation) and further narrow down to issues which can be taken up by us. A search on Google, threw up a lot of search results, expectedly. A large part of these search results were government websites - union and state.

This is the home page of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Here you can find a summary and introduction to the SSA framework.

Quite a few insightful articles can be found at Search for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and/or SSA and you will get some really good articles.

A few points that I noted were:

i. The concept as such is very strong but the lack of implementation takes away its strength.
ii. The parameters to monitor the working of SSA are not adequate, rather they are grossly inadequate. They go by measures such as number of children enrolled. This is misleading because after enrollment a student may not turn up at a school for months together. Also a student is not considered as absent unless he is absent for 3-6 months continuously. If in between he/she turns up for a day, he is not considered a drop out. (Read here).
iii. The quality of education and the availability of resources like stationery, food (as part of mid-day meal scheme) vary from state to state, region to region (within a state) and from school to school (within a region).
iv. An interesting thing that I read was - To calculate the amount funds needed, the price of book considered was higher than the actual cost of the book. So when requesting for funds the books were charged at Rs 150 but they actually cost RS 25- Rs 60. The rest of the amount is allocated but unspent or digested(not sure!).

Something that I heard from my friend, whose father works as an Executive Engineer, overseeing the construction of schools under SSA. As he told me, SSA pays for the construciton of school building and compound. On one occasion, it was found out that the compound and school were built at two different places !

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Targeting the Meet - 3

What: Targeting the Meet - 3
When: Sun Jan 13 9pm – Sun Jan 7 10pm IST
Where: Skype
1. New member intro
2. Previous Fortnight goals update
3. Discussion: RTI, fightcorruption, X-factor..any other?
4. Next fortnight goals!
5. Wrap

Minutes of this meeting - and all subsequent meetings can be found at:

Minutes: Targeting the Meet - 2

Attendees: Jagan, Krishnakanth, Shashi, Badhri


1. New member intro

Krishnakanth (KK): Chartered accountant, Pricewaterhousecoopers, UK

2. Have you thought about factors affection Standard of Living?

  • Concern: Members @ different countries, busy work life, how to sustain initiative?
  • On SOL:
    • SOL is generic term. Need to choose our focus. (eg. under-privileged, children etc)
    • Western lifestyle at UK, lack of traditional values (like family living) affects quality of living, India getting there. Can work on retaining "non-westernised" living as a preventive measure in India

  • KK's concern:

    • Meet on a regular basis, update the groups without fail if
      unavailable for meeting. Feel answerable to the rest of the team, the
      momentum will be automatically maintained

  • On SOL:
    • Awareness! (again! :) )

  • On SOL:
    • Concentrate on children. Changing one generation is all it takes!
    • Climate-change, global warming related awareness
    • Also endorse Aish's idea of improving youth-related affairs (interview skills, choosing career path etc)
  • Interested as much in spreading awareness to literate people
3. Why not start with a social ill?
  • Filing RTI:
    • Members may read up, understand RTI and should discuss when more members are around, take a decision
  • Seeking the help of someone experienced:
    • (Badhri): May contact owners of
    • (Jagan) : Hold on. May have to discuss with the larger team. *will send a mail to the group on this*
4. Next fortnight goals!

  • Find out issues for which RTI can be filed
  • Procedure of filing RTI petition
(Shashi, KK)
  • Read up more on RTI for next week's discussion
  • Read up more about RTI
  • Send mail about contacting/not contacting owners of fightcorruption initiative
5. Wrap

Wrap! :)