GUWAHATI, March 28 - With an aim to gain qualitative improvement in primary education, the State Government will launch the ‘Gunotsav’ programme next month, under which students and schools up to Class VIII will be assessed on merit and infrastructural criteria on an annual basis.
State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today told media persons that the initiative is aimed at celebrating merit and excellence in primary education and will go a long way in setting high standards.
“It is a fact-finding mission for the Government itself. Through this initiative, we should be able to identify areas where there is need for improvement,” Sarma said.
The assessment will be covered in two phases from the second year.
The first phase will be conducted over four days between April 4 to 7 in eight districts, covering 9,11,588 students of 12,320 schools in the districts of Barpeta, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Hailakandi, Kamrup (M), Lakhimpur, Morigaon and West Karbi Anglong.
Besides school teachers, evaluation will be conducted by external evaluators, comprising ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service officers.
Sarma said that Gunotsav has been inspired by a similar programme in Gujarat, initiated about 10 years ago by then Chief Minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said, “This initiative had drawn praise from the Planning Commission also. It has become a major calendar event for the Gujarat Government and has shown rich dividends.”
The assessment will be conducted in government/provincialised/tea garden-managed/composite schools in five mediums namely, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Hindi and English, in three phases in the first year under Gunotsav.
The Chief Minister and the Education Minister will visit schools in Kamrup (M) district in the first phase. An amount of Rs 15 crore had been earmarked in the budget for 2016-17 for Gunotsav.
He opined that the findings of the programme are likely to lead to a substantial increase in budgetary allocation for improving elementary education from next year. He added that report cards for individual students as well as schools are expected to be prepared within 60 days after completion of the field visits.
“It is expected that the learning gap of each of the students studying in these schools will be properly assessed, enhancement of reading, writing and numerical ability will be ensured, awareness among teachers, students, administrators, communities and stakeholders for quality education will be successfully generated,” the minister said.
Sarma also held video-conferencing with the Deputy Commissioners of the eight districts that will be covered in the first phase to take stock of the preparations and inaugurated a website of Gunotsav.