What is STARS Program for improving school education?

STARS abbreviates for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program

Purpose : To improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states through Samagra Shiksha. It will focus on improving assessment systems, facilitating school-to-work transition, strengthening classroom instruction and remediation, decentralizing management and strengthening the governance. It will also support India’s goal ‘Education for All’. For this vision, the World Bank has earlier assisted with more than $3 billion. The STARS project also aims at focusing on initiatives of PM e-Vidya, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission and National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Fund Allocated / Budget / Project Cost : 500 million US Dollars equivalent to 5718 Crore Indian Rupees

States chosen for project Implementation: 6 states in India namely Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan.

Funding Agency : World Bank

How STARS will support India’s vision ‘Education for All’ through a series of initiatives?

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STARS will support Indian Government’s vision of “Education for All” by focusing

  • Customised local-level Solutions: The STARS project will focus on direct delivery of education services at the state, district and sub-district levels by providing enhanced customised local-level solutions in improving schools.
  • Address specific demands: STARS will address demands from stakeholders and parents, for providing better quality education.
  • Attention to students from vulnerable sections: The program will give special attention to students from vulnerable sections. As per reports, more than 52% of children in the state-run schools in the six listed states are from vulnerable sections– SC (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe) and other minority communities.
  • Changing job trend: The STARS program will help the students in keeping up with the rapidly changing needs of the job markets.
  • Equipping teachers: In the technology-driven era, the program will also equip the teachers to achieve a better learning outcome as they are playing a vital role in providing quality education. The program will carry out needs-based training for teachers.
  • Investment in India’s human capital: The program will also invest in India’s human capital program by strengthening foundational learning for the students of Classes 1 to 3 and further preparing them with cognitive, socio-behavioural and language skills to meet future labour market needs.

In addition to these, the program will also focus on the SDG 4 (Sustainable Development Goal) for education and will help in producing an enhanced data on learning levels by improving the National Achievement Survey (NAS). The STARS will also assist India in participating in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment).

Related Facts : On June 24, the World Bank has approved $500 million STARS program to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states through Samagra Shiksha. This program will benefit around 250 million students of the age group 6-17 years in 1.5 million schools and more than 10 million teachers. A project similar to STARS will be funded by ADB–  Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam. The cabinet has also approved setting up of an independent and autonomous institution (PARAKH) under the Department of School Education and Literacy, MoE.

About  NAS

The National Achievement Survey or NAS is a research program under NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) and is supported by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). On November 13, 2017, the program was carried out pan India for Classes 3,5 and 8 in government and government-funded schools. The survey was carried out to understand the effectiveness of the school system in India based on student learning. This was the largest assessment survey in India and is amongst the largest in the world.

About Samagra Shiksha

Samagra Shiksha is an integrated program for extending school education from pre-school to Class 12 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education. It includes three schemes– Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). Emphasis is laid on two T’s– Teacher and Technology.

About PISA

The Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA is an International level study program by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The PISA measures the ability of 15-year-old students to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet the challenges in real-life.

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