The Planning Commission has set up a working group on elementary education and literacy.

It will suggest measures for faster reduction in illiteracy with emphasis on gender, regional and social dimensions, and incentivise States to achieve cent per cent literacy during the XII Plan period.

To be chaired by the Secretary, Department of Elementary Education and Literacy (Ministry of Human Resource Development), the group will suggest modifications to educational indicators, computation of education index that captures the ground reality and suggest measures for improvements in management of educational statistics at district, State and national-levels and reduce the time lag in publication of educational statistics.

It will review effectiveness of programmes addressing the needs of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities, girl's education and feasibility of introducing alternative systems for imparting quality education to the poor students.

In addition to reviewing the existing Plan programmes under Elementary Education and Literacy in terms of access, enrolment, retention, dropouts and with particular emphasis on outcome on quality of education by gender, social and regional classifications, the group has been asked to evolve a detailed perspective plan and strategies with specific medium-term monitorable targets in terms of average years of schooling and for providing quality elementary education up to Class VIII to all children in the age group of 6-14 as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act mandate.

Millennium goals

The group will suggest measures for improving implementation of RTE harmonised Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and various literacy programmes for achieving the millennium development goals and restructure literacy programmes for greater involvement of the State governments and increasing transparency.