Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan officials awaiting guidelines on the programme
A programme to familiarise schoolchildren in Dakshina Kannada district with agriculture and allied activities has been approved by the Centre, said N. Shivaprakash, Deputy Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Dakshina Kannada district.
Guidelines are now awaited for the programme that has been designed to follow the recommendation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 that children should get exposure to a variety of vocations in the farm sector, he said.
Called “Chinnarige Krushi Vrutti Darshana” (“A glimpse of agriculture”), the objective of the programme is to expose class 7 and 8 students (of 2012-13) to horticulture, sericulture, organic farming, apiculture, fisheries, poultry farming, medicinal plant cultivation, kitchen gardening, agri processing, rainwater harvesting, dairying, and manufacture of biofuels and vermicompost.
The aim of the activity is to develop their cognitive skills and application, thinking, analysing, and decision-making capabilities. It is aimed at helping students develop vocational interests, allow self-exploration, inculcate a good work culture, and reduce the school dropout rate, especially among girl children.
It will be executed by the district-level Execution Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat will execute the programme. The district-level execution committee will identify and select a “Krushi Vrutti” (local or regionally dominant farming activity) and get experts to guide the children. It will select facilitators and orient them on the activity, identify venues for the activity in all blocks of the district based on available facilities and accessibility. It will identify children and monitor them, decide on transport for ‘Krushi Darshana', the time schedules, route maps, and activity plans. It will prepare literature and get voluntary organisations or individuals to support the programme.
The execution committee will constitute a sub-committee for monitoring and evaluation and devise a method to evaluate the outcomes and constant feedback.
The activity will be held at block headquarters, which includes district head quarters or in the hoblis. A maximum of five venues in a block will be taken to cover 50 children each and coverage of 6,500 children a district on an average, said Mr. Shivaprakash.
Students from all categories will be selected based on equity with the stress on girls education, urban deprived children (UDC), and minority.
An amount of Rs. 150 per child will be utilised to provide a day's exposure (midday meals provided under Midday Meal Scheme). The proposed target in every district is 4,000 girls, 1,667 students under UDC, and 800 in the minority category. For training 2,500 students, the programme proposes to spend Rs. 150 a day, an amount of Rs.3.75 lakh.
Renny D'Souza, Convenor, Dakshina Kannada district, Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL), said that introducing the NCF means many changes in teaching. Its approach is to expose students to learning from practical activities relevant to real life instead of classroom-based teaching. The ‘Darshana' programme is good step provided the guidelines are designed correctly for the right impact on students. Otherwise, children will enjoy an outing with the funds. “It is not a picnic,” he said.
Keywords: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan