school complex and clusters,National Education Policy 2020

School Complexes/Clusters in India: National Education Policy (NEP 2020)

The National Education Policy (NEP 2020) had far-reaching recommendations for school education which also includes setting up of School Complexes which shall ensure sharing of resources amongst all such complexes. As such NEP (2020) recommended:

7.7. The establishment of school complexes/clusters and the sharing of resources across complexes will have a number of other benefits as a consequence, such as improved support for children with disabilities, more topic-centered clubs and academic/sports/arts/crafts events across school complexes, better incorporation of art, music, language, vocational subjects, physical education, and other subjects in the classroom through the sharing of teachers in these subjects including use of ICT tools to conduct virtual classes, better student support, enrolment, attendance, and performance through the sharing of social workers and counselors, and School Complex Management Committees (rather than simply School Management Committees) for more robust and improved governance, monitoring, oversight, innovations, and initiatives by local stakeholders. Building such larger communities of schools, school leaders, teachers, students, supporting staff, parents, and local citizens would energize and empower the schooling system, and in a resource-efficient manner”. [NEP 2020, Para 7.7]

School Complexes NEP 2020 Excerpts

NCERT (A.  Srivastava) presentation on Effective School Governances based on NEP 2020 highlights the usefulness of School Complexes with regards to structure, functions, development of school complexes/clusters, development plans, and other measures and their implications.

Effective School Governance NCERT AKsrivastava

More specifically, NEP 2020 mentioned “7.8. The governance of schools will also improve and become far more efficient with school complexes/clusters. First, the DSE will devolve authority to the school complex/cluster, which will act as a semi-autonomous unit. The District Education Officer (DEO) and the Block Education Officers (BEO) will interact primarily with each school complex/cluster as a single unit and facilitate its work. The complex itself will perform certain tasks delegated by the DSE and will deal with the individual schools within it. The school complex/cluster will be given significant autonomy by the DSE to innovate towards providing integrated education and to experiment with pedagogies, curriculum, etc. while adhering to the National Curricular Framework (NCF) and State Curricular Framework (SCF). Under this organization, schools will gain in strength, will be able to exercise greater freedom, and will contribute towards making the complex more innovative and responsive.” [NEP 2020, Para 7.3]

School Complexes in India NIEPA 2022:  Rashmi Diwan,  Subitha,  Mona Sedwal & Kashyapi Awasthi

In response to recommendations on NEP 2020 regarding School Complexexes, NIEPA faculty through its Occasional Paper 59 undertakes a complete review of the same and examines its existing practices and prospects given the National Education Policy (NEP 2020). It may be recalled that in one of the other publications,  NIEPA presented a detailed study on  Revitalising School Complexes in India (1983, Concept, New Delhi) by R. P. Singhal which was largely based on the experiences and experiments done at time in the state of Maharashtra issues raised in which are very much relevant today.

In the present paper Rashmi Diwan,  Subitha G. V., Mona Sedwal & Kashyapi Awasthi, through Occasional Paper 59, NIEPA presents a comprehensive view of school Complexexes with regard to following;

  • Understanding a School Complex
  • Roles and Significance of School Complexes
  • Issue of Sustaining Networks among Schools
  • Tracing School Complexes in National Policies & Commissions
  • Functioning of School Complexes
  • School Complexes: Structure, Provision, Roles & Responsibilities
  • Issues & Challenges in the Functioning of School Complexes
  • Structure of School Complex
  • Plan and Vision for the Complex
  • Provisions at the School Complex level
  • Strengthening Academic Review at School Complex level
  • Complex Head: Roles and Provisions
  • Overall Perceptions: NEP 2020 Framework on School Complexes
  • Improving Quality in School Complexes

The authors have also presented case studies of Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.  The abstract of the study is presented below:

Abstract: The school Complexes emerged as a necessity to address the critical issues related to access and equity in providing the resources for quality improvement of schools in India. Historically, it was on the recommendations of the Education Commission (1964-66) and subsequently by the Janardhan Reddy Committee (1992) that school complexes were formed in different parts of the country. It is strongly realized that the current structure of schools and complexes does not seem to be adequate in providing access to well-resourced schools. The paper draws an understanding of the functioning of school complexes from the review of national and international literature and the overall perception of state-level administrators on the current arrangement of school complexes in India. It has been brought to the fore that there is a need for overall improvement in all kinds and sizes of schools. The National Education Policy 2020 recognized the need to provide equitable access for all children to a quality school by establishing a school complex or cluster in a specified geographical area. The complex is seen to be restricted to primary schools as feeder schools in the existing structure, and the NEP 2020 extends boundaries to include Anganwadis as part of the complex. The New Education Policy envisions school complexes to be decentralized units located as independent units for greater resource efficiency to facilitate coordination, leadership, governance, and management of schools and ignite the academic rigor effectively within a complex. The paper presents potential models of school complexes that have worked in different contexts in a diverse country like India. The paper brings to the fore that a cluster or complex of schools has the potential of bringing equity among schools to ensure access to quality education for all. [NIEPA Occasional Paper 59]

School Complexes in India NIEPA 2022 rashmi diwan Subitha Mona Sedwal Kashyapi Awasthi [NIEPA, Occasional Paper 59, please refer and use original source of information and give full reference to article used]

National Education Policy (NEP 2020)