From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : STARS Project
Mains level : Read the attached story
The World Bank has approved a $500 million Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS) to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states.
Try this question:
Q. The STARS Project recently seen in news is an initiative of:
World Bank/ Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / UNECOSOC/ UNICEF
- The STARS project will be implemented through the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship central scheme.
- The six states include- Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan.
- It will help improve learning assessment systems, strengthen classroom instruction and remediation, facilitate school-to-work transition, and strengthen governance and decentralized management,
- Some 250 million students (between the age of 6 and 17) in 1.5 million schools and over 10 million teachers will benefit from the STARS program.
- STARS will support India’s renewed focus on addressing the ‘learning outcome’ challenge and help students better prepare for the jobs of the future – through a series of reform initiatives.
Reform initiatives under STARS
- Focusing more directly on the delivery of education services at the state, district and sub-district levels by providing customized local-level solutions towards school improvement.
- Addressing demands from stakeholders, especially parents, for greater accountability and inclusion by producing better data to assess the quality of learning.
- Equipping teachers to manage this transformation by recognizing that teachers are central to achieving better learning outcomes. The program will support individualized, needs-based training for teachers that will give them an opportunity to have a say in shaping training programs and making them relevant to their teaching needs.
- Investing more in developing India’s human capital needs by strengthening foundational learning for children in classes 1 to 3 and preparing them with the cognitive, socio-behavioural and language skills to meet future labour market needs.
Issues with the project
- First, it fails to address the basic capacity issues: major vacancies across the education system from District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), district and block education offices, to teachers in schools, remain unaddressed.
- Without capable and motivated faculty, teacher education and training cannot be expected to improve.
- Second, the Bank ignores that decentralizing decision-making requires the devolution of funds and real decision-making power.
- Greater decentralisation can allow accountability to flow to the people rather than to supervising officers.
- It requires not just investment in the capacity of the front-line bureaucracy but also in increasing their discretionary powers while fostering social accountability.