Endeavoring to provide quality education, the Himachal Pradesh Government has taken various steps to address the learning challenges during the last two and half years.
The pupil teacher ratio in the State is one of the best in the country. It is 14:1 in Primary, 13:1 at Upper Primary, 27:1 at Secondary and 15:1 at Higher Secondary. The teachers are regularly trained and oriented so that their skills are constantly upgraded. The teachers who fulfill the norms as prescribed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) are recruited in Govt. Schools.
The government has laid special focus of early reading, writing and numeracy at the elementary level. Specific directions have been issued in this regard to all the schools and this issue is being specifically focused in teacher trainings under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Under the provisions of Right to Education Act, learning standards for class 1 to 8, for all subject chapters wise have been identified and notified in January, 2014. These standards have been printed and made available to all schools. The teachers have been made accountable to ensure that each child acquires these competencies and they were to provide remedial teaching to students who are lacking in their learning. Further, based on the learning competencies, census assessment of students at the elementary level have been started under SSA.
Similarly, learning standards for class 9 and 10 have also been notified under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksh Abhiyan (RMSA) in December, 2014. These standards have also been notified and being distributed to the schools.
Teacher absenteeism is monitored regularly in the State. Monitoring is being done to check attendance through regular inspection/surprise visits of schools in the field by Senior Officers, Deputy Directors and BEEOs. On trial basis Bio-metric machines have also been installed in few schools and likely to be supplied to other institutions. School Management Committees has been constituted for each school also to check attendance of the teachers.
The government has accorded approval to rationalize the deployment of teachers at the elementary level for Bilaspur district. Gradually, this exercise will be carried out in all the districts of the State so that deployment of teachers were in consonance with the student enrollment in the schools. The government has also notified norms for introduction of Arts, Commerce and Science classes at the Senior Secondary level. Now after the notification of these norms, rationalization would be carried out at the Secondary level. Once the rationalization is carried out, the issue of single teacher school, excess or fewer teachers is likely to be addressed.
The State Govt. has implemented National Education Policy 1986, as amended in 1992. Further, the Govt. has implemented Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 has been adopted in the State and school curriculum has been aligned accordingly and the State has achieved remarkable progress in the field of education which has been nationally acknowledged. In the year 1951 the literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh was barely 7.98 percent whereas as per the 2011 census, the literacy rate of the State is 82.80 percent. The male and female literacy rates are 89.53 and 75.93 percent respectively.
In order to universalize education up to senior secondary stage, more than 10738 Primary, 2292 Middle, 846 High and 1552 Senior Secondary Schools have been made functional in the State. The State has also created sufficient infrastructure in schools in terms of buildings, toilets and drinking water facility and recruited adequate number of teachers to provide quality education to the children.
There is near 100% enrolment of students at the elementary level and dropout rate is negligible. In order to provide easy access to schools, free travel facility to Government School Students has been provided in HRTC buses. In order to make the secondary education employable, vocational courses have been started in Automobile, Retail, Health care, Security, ITeS, Tourism and Agriculture in 200 schools. IT education is also being provided in all Senior Secondary and High Schools.
In the year 2012-13, the total budget allocation of Elementary Education was Rs. 1992.49 crore, whereas for the year 2015-16 there is provision of Rs. 2936.56 crore which is 47% more as compared to 2012-13. For Higher Education against the allocation of Rs. 1606.40 crore in 2014-15, there is provision of Rs. 1945.36 crore for the current year which is an increase of 21.10%.
Under the Right to Compulsory and Free Education Act 2009, free education is being provided to children up to 8th standard. Free uniform is being provided to all students from class 1 to 10. Free Text Books are also being provided up to class 8 for all girl students and students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and BPL families