Maharashtra has shown a remarkable growth in the field of primary education. Primary education in Maharashtra has come a long way in the last two decades. According to the Census 2011, Maharashtra has the literacy rate of 80%, keeping in pace with states like Kerala and Mizoram. Maharashtra Government has introduced several schemes and laws to encourage primary education in the state.
Development of Primary Education in Maharashtra:
Development of primary education has always been a top priority for Maharashtra State Government. In the year 1951, the Government took upon itself to initiate primary education in the rural areas in Maharashtra. Soon primary education was made compulsory in the state. Since then there has been a steady rise in the numbers of students enrolling in primary schools. Free textbooks were given out to students of first and second standard. Merit scholarships were introduced to encourage and support students. A plan was introduced to improve the primary education system in Maharashtra. The major objective of the plan was to:
- Transform and change the current educational system and relate closely with the aspirations of the students and fulfill their requirements.
- To improve the process and standard of imparting education.
- To spot, recognize, and develop talent.
- To improve and increase facilities for students and teachers alike.
- Prevent absenteeism and dropout. Attract more students.
- Introduce mid-day meals to keep students interested in school.
- Work towards encouraging girl students to attend school.
- Provide free school supplies including meals, uniform, textbooks, slates, etc.
New methods of teaching were introduced and up gradation of courses and curriculum was initiated. Emphasis was given on more technical and professional ways of teaching. Teachers were encouraged to experiment and apply modern methods of teaching in schools. The format for examination was also changed.
Currently Maharashtra has around 106403 government schools. Most of these schools have both primary and upper primary grades. Maharashtra has a total enrolment of 8845062 students at the primary level. 47.9% of the total enrolment comprises girl students, which is quite impressive as compared to other states.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Maharashtra:
After the introduction of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship program of the Government of India, primary education in Maharashtra has taken a giant leap for good.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan ensures elementary education of all. According to the program, elementary education in India is free for students belonging to the age group of 6-14. Primary education in India is the fundamental right of every child.