The Programme of Action (POA) to operationalize National Policy on Education, 1986, inter-alia, envisaged development of a genuine partnership between the Government and non- Government Organizations (NGOs) and stipulated that government would take positive steps to promote their wider involvement in eradication of illiteracy by providing due support to them. To promote Adult Education, particularly in 15-35 age group, through voluntary sector, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, has been providing support to Voluntary Agencies (VA) through two separate schemes, namely
(i) Assistance to Voluntary Agencies in the field of Adult Education and
(ii) Jan Shikshan Sansthans. The former is conceptualised as an overarching programme to encourage innovation and creativity in literacy and continuing education. It includes establishment of State Resource Centers for technical and academic support to adult education. Jan Shikshan Sansthans, on the other hand, provide vocational education skill development training to those having no or rudimentary level of education.
The Government have now decided to merge both the schemes and rename the modified scheme as “Scheme of Support to Voluntary Agencies for Adult Education and Skill Development” and continue to support the Voluntary Agencies on project to project basis. Thus the new scheme subsumes the erstwhile NGO based schemes of the National Literacy Mission. Besides revised parameters, enhanced financial assistance has been provided under some of the components of the revised scheme. The scheme will be administered through a new set of guidelines and terms & conditions, as specified by the Government from time to time.
The main objective of the scheme is to secure extensive, as well as, intensive involvement of voluntary sector in the endeavours of the Government to promote functional literacy, skill development and continuing education, particularly in 15-35 age group, under the over all umbrella of National Literacy Mission (NLM). The Scheme will, thus, strive to achieve, through voluntary effort, the overall objectives of NLM, which include:
Achieving self-reliance in literacy and numeracy
Becoming aware of the causes of their deprivation and moving towards amelioration of their condition through organization and participation in the process of development
Acquiring skills to improve the economic status and general well being
Imbibing the values of national integration, conservation of the environment women’s equality, observance of small family norms, etc.
The Scheme encompasses of 3 components, namely, State Resource Centers, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and Assistance to Voluntary Agencies.
State Resource Centers
Jan Shikshan Sansthan
Assistance to Voluntary Agencies