Education was never so innovative: Schools in fishing boats, mobile schools in brick kilns; programmes like Meena campaign, Ujasbhani and Diwali camp for girl's education, special teachers for children with disabilities. These and many more innovations made by four-year-old Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to achieve universalisation of elementary education have been documented by IIM-Ahmedabad.
The 91-page document highlights best practices and innovations done by Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, UP, Uttaranchal and West Bengal. The study has found that the SSA has met with considerable success quantitatively if not qualitatively. While quality remains an area of concern, the SSA has been able to bridge the enrolment, retention and achievement gaps between the sexes and among social groups. According to the IIM-A study titled `Shiksha Sangam: Innovations under the SSA,' the out-of-school population had come down from 28.5 per cent of the six-to-14 year age group in 2001 to 6.94 per cent by the end of 2005. Dropout rates at the primary level stands at about 12 per cent and 190 of the 400 districts were showing a declining trend in 2005-2006.
The SSA has been able to bring Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs)
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