Shikshak Parv: All You Need To Know

The theme for the year 2021 is ‘Quality and Sustainable Schools: Learnings from Schools in India’

Shikshak Parv 2021 is organised by the Ministry of Education to be held from 5th to 17th September. The initiative was launched to acknowledge the contributions of teachers, as well as, assist the implementation of the new National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020). Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the event at a virtual conference during its launch week. He announced the theme of this year to be: ‘Quality and Sustainable Schools: Learnings from Schools in India’ for Shikshak Parv-2021, setting the precedence of the initiative here on forward. 

During the Prime Minister’s address, Modi, in light of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2020, asked Indian Olympians and Paralympians to visit a total of 75 schools to mark ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ furthermore, to encourage interested students to pursue sports in a professional capacity. He further complimented the teacher’s marvellous take on handling challenges amid the pandemic through online classes and exams.

Commending the initiative, Jamshed Bharucha, Founding Vice-Chancellor, Sai University states, “Keeping in line with the theme of Shikshak Parv 21- sustainable and quality education, the initiatives announced are sure to have a positive impact on the education landscape of the country. Technology has percolated and changed the dynamics of the education sector drastically; especially over the last year. The National Digital Educational Architecture or N-DEAR would be a catalyst for the progress of the education ecosystem.”

During the week-long initiative, five key initiatives were launched to further the  NEP 2020 agenda. 

Initiative launched under Shishak Parv 2021

  1. Dictionary of Indian Sign Language - Launched for children and citizens with hearing impairments. It consists of 10,000 words.
  2. Talking Books - Audiobooks are made for the visually impaired.
  3. School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAA)
    • CBSE has developed a mechanism of School Quality Assessment and Assurance (SQAA) for comprehensive school evaluation aiming at continuous quality improvement through self-analysis and self-monitoring of quality enhancement processes. 
    • SQAA is an exhaustive, objective, transparent and implementable self-assessment tool benchmarked by the best global standards and also rich in its local requirements for educationists, leaders, management and all those involved in making a difference in the lives of children. 
    • It is an affirmation of ‘Quality’. It highlights the fact that Self Assessment as internal accountability is intrinsically important in building a sense of responsibility and ownership.
  4. NISHTHA Teachers Training programme for NIPUN Bharat
    • NISHTHA stands for the National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 states that ‘Teachers truly shape the future of our children and therefore, the future of our Nation. The motivation and empowerment of teachers is required to ensure the best possible future of our children and nation’. As per the recommendation of NEP 2020, every teacher and headteacher is expected to participate in at least 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities every year for their own professional development, driven by their own interests.
    • NIPUN stands for ‘National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy’ Bharat Scheme. The vision of the Mission is to create an enabling environment to ensure the universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy so that by 2026-27 every child a.chieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy at the end of Grade III and not later than Grade V.
  5. Vidyanjali 2.0 Portal
    • Vidyanjali is an initiative by the Ministry of Education, Government of India with the aim to strengthen Schools through community and private sector involvement in schools across the country.
    • Vidyanjali 2.0 is an amalgamation of the word Vidya which means 'correct knowledge' or 'clarity' and Anjali that means 'an offering with both hands in the Sanskrit language. The portal will facilitate donations, contributions from Corporate Social Responsibility funds, and volunteering, all aimed at developing and improving schools.

Having received more directions on realising the goals of this initiative, educators have praised Shishak Parv 2021 and the opportunities it creates. Surabhi Goel, CEO, Aditya Birla Education Academy comments, “These initiatives will help transform the future of the students in the country by bringing advancements in the educational division to develop the face of education. We are assertive that these initiatives will lead to a revolutionary change in India's education sector and provide adequate opportunities to the learning and teaching communities to prosper in the long run.”

While the initiatives hold a lot of potentials, educationists point out there are still hurdles to be crossed. Shalender Sharma, Director, Education and Skill Development, IPE Global elaborates, “While these initiatives look promising, their success is contingent on country-wide implementation in an equitable way, where no child is left behind. Meticulous planning, implementation and monitoring of these initiatives would certainly entail higher budgetary provisions (both and the Central and State Govt. levels) and a sincere approach across the stakeholders.”

It is clear that recaliberating the education sector is a top priority in India. The launch of Shishak Parv 2021 is a testament to the dedication towards the continuous efforts to keep education up to date and equip students with the necessary skills of the 21st century. However, all efforts and success lie in the proper implementation of the initiative. Educators have shown support in the government’s efforts, while also being conscious of potential obstacles.

The teachers have to be applauded for their hard work and dedication that despite being at home, they managed to take classes virtually. They are the building blocks of the child’s personality and deserve to be celebrated and this is a very positive initiative taken by our Prime Minister keeping them in mind. Also, recognise children and people with hearing and visual impairment is indeed a step towards the development of the education sector and India in general. 

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