The World Bank has expressed interest to support the newly launched Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) scheme for improvement of quality of secondary education in the country. The Ministry of HRD has agreed to the proposal of the World Bank and has written to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for further action, DEA sources told PTI. The Bank at present also supports the government's flagship programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which aims at universalisation of elementary education. The Bank has taken interest in RMSA keeping in view the objective of the programme to check drop-out rate at secondary level completely by 2020. The scheme also aims to achieve a general enrollment target of 75 % for classes IX-X within five years from 52.26 % as in 2005-06 by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation. The government has allocated INR 20,120 crore during the 11th Plan for the scheme.
As per the provision of the scheme, Centre shall bear 75 % of the project expenditure during the 11th five-year plan while states' share will be the remaining 25 %. Sharing pattern will be 50:50 for the 12th five-year plan. For both the 11th and 12th five-year plans, funding pattern will be 90:10 for North Eastern States. Apart from improving quality of education at secondary level by making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, the scheme also aims at removal of gender, socio-economic and disability barriers and ensuring universal access to secondary level education by 2017 and universal retention by 2020. It would also provide facilities for estimated additional enrollment of 32.20 lakh children by 2011-12 through strengthening of about 44,000 existing secondary schools, opening 11,188 new secondary schools, appointment of 1.79 lakh additional teachers and construction of 80,500 additional classrooms. The other interventions are providing infrastructure in schools such as new classrooms with furniture, library, science laboratory, computer room and disabled-friendly provisions. Besides, more teachers would be recruited with emphasis on science, mathematics and English faculty. Teachers would be provided in service training along with teaching aids such as ICT and special focus would be given to SC/ST/Minorities girls. Steps such as priority for opening or upgrading of schools in areas of SC/ST/minority/weaker section concentration and enrollment drives and special coaching classes in these areas are also envisaged under the scheme.