EFA: Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of Education for All in India are as follows (MHRD, Annual Report: 1997-98):


Universal enrolment of all children, including girls and persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;

Provision of primary school for all children within one kilometer of walking distance and of facility of non-formal education; and

Improvement of ratio of primary to upper primary school to at least 1:2.


Reduction of dropout rates between Classes I to V and I to VIII to 20 and 40 per cent respectively; and

Improvement of school facilities by revamped Operation Blackboard, to be extended to upper primary level also.


Achievement of minimum levels of learning by approximately all children at the primary level, and introduction of this concept at the middle stage on a large scale.


Local level committee, with due representation to women and teachers, to assist in the working of primary education to oversee its functioning; and

Improvement of the monitoring system for universalisation of elementary education.

The Government of India has initiated a number of schemes to achieve the goals of EFA amongst which the scheme of Operation Blackboard (OB) is the most prominent one. The main objectives of OB Scheme (1987) are as follows (MHRD, Annual Report: 1993-94):

A building comprising at least two reasonably large all-weather rooms with a deep varandah and separate toilet facilities for boys and girls;

At least two teachers in every school, as far as possible one of them a women; and Essential teaching-learning material including blackboards, maps, charts, toys and equipment for work experience.

The scheme is recently revised so as to:

Provide flexibility to schools in providing teaching-learning materials relevant to their curriculum and local needs:

To relate the scheme with micro planning wherever undertaken, so that supply of inputs is matched by demand side interventions to promote participation;

Intensify training in the use of teaching-learning equipment’s; and

Extend the scheme to upper primary schools.

In addition, a number of externally funded projects and programmes are also currently under implementation amongst which the World Bank assisted District Primary Education Programme is the most prominent one. The programme that was launched in 1994 in 42 districts of seven states is currently under implementation in about 150 districts spread over fifteen states. The main objectives of DPEP programme are as follows:

Emphasizing the local area planning with district plans being formulated in their own right instead of being derived from a state plan project document;

Infusing greater rigor and professional inputs in planning and appraisal;

More focussed targeting in educationally ward districts and districts where total literacy campaign have been successful;

More focussed coverage would initially focus on primary stage (Classes I-V and its NFE equivalent) with stress on girls and for socially disadvantaged groups; and

Emphasizing capacity building and networking of district, states and national level institutes in the fields of education management and social services to provide the resource support for the programme.

Forty Years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019 (e-Book)

Forty years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019

Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021

UDISE, Interview of Prof. Arun C Mehta in Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021