State Experiences on School Mapping & Micro Planning


(July 29-30, 1997)
COPY Right: NIEPA, New Delhi – 110016 (INDIA)

State Experiences


  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Maharashtra
  • Orissa
  • Lok Jumbish
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal


DPEP was introduced in 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Karimnagar, Kurnool, Nellore, Vizianagaram and Warrangal districts were chosen for implementation of DPEP. To facilitate district planning process, various discussion/meetings were held. These discussions were initiated at the district level. Plans were prepared at the Mandal (a unit lower than district level) level. The planning process involved activities at village, Mandal and district levels.

The Mandal officers were imparted training to prepare plans. The Mandal Resource persons were trained in 1995. They were imparted training in formulating village education plans. They went to villages and gave training to village resource persons. They conducted Gram Sabhas and held discussions with Village Education Committees. A village education profile was prepared. Further, a village education plan was prepared. On this basis, a village action plan was prepared.

Based on the educational needs of villages, village action plans were prepared along with Mandal Action Plans. The Mandal action plan was compiled at Mandal headquarters. Based on these lower level plans, a district perspective plan was made. It is on this basis, that a District Action Plan was prepared.


The District Primary Education Programme started in Assam effectively from the year 1994-95, in three district of Dhubri, Darrang and Morigaon. A number of activities are going on since then with various degrees of success. Many of the activities are related to micro-planning and school mapping exercises. The need for operationalising the micro-planning and school mapping exercise in a planned and systematic way has been felt for quite sometime now. With work soon to commence in the phase II districts, it has become all the more essential, to draw up a strategy and action plan. There may be certain obvious differences in the approaches for the Phase I and Phase II districts as the needs are different, considering that the Phase I districts have already completed three years of implementation.

In the meantime, a 4 (four) member team from DPEP, Assam attended a training course at NIEPA, New Delhi, on school mapping and micro planning during February’ 97. Thereafter, a three phase workshop on micro planning was been organised of which two phases are already over, and the last phase which is a field level programme will commence in September 1997. Resource Persons from IGNOU and LBSNAA, Mussoorie, have also been articipating in these workshops.

Basic Strategy

It is being thought that micro planning exercises will be initiated in select clusters, in the blocks of both Phase I and Phase II districts. The scale will be limited initially but it is expected that progressively these will be carried out to cover more areas. Of course in the Phase I districts the clusters (group of villages, not necessarily a DPEP cluster) will be selected on the basis of existing data on backwardness in terms of literacy, population pattern, and other parameters, and may be scattered through out the district. This is to gather a holistic understanding of the ground realities in a participatory way. On the other hand in the case of Phase II districts presently only one block, will be selected for carrying out the exercises with intensive multi-level interventions in a detailed manner. As far as the school mapping exercise is concerned, two blocks will be taken up ; namely, Mayong in Morigaon and Dudhnoi in Goalpara in the Phase I and Phase II respectively. Subsequently more blocks will be taken up in different districts in a phased manner. It needs to be mentioned here that while understanding the school mapping exercises, information will be gathered through PRA/PLA techniques wherever feasible, but data and information will also be gathered through other means like using investigators with questionnaires etc.

In each district a District Core Team will be constituted involving persons from different categories (not necessarily from all), viz. DEEO, DI, BEEO, Programme Officers, BRC Co-ordinators, Social Workers, representatives of NGOs, Women Groups, etc. Committed persons with communication and training skills, will be selected in each district to form a panel of Master Trainers and Facilitators. Basic manual and other documents will be developed in the local language(s) to be used as basic reference. It will be ensured that they will be user friendly, being easily accessible and comprehensible. NIEPA module will form part of the basic reference material in this regard.

Intensive training in micro planning and school mapping will be imparted in various stages to the panel of Master Trainers. This will involve hands on tasks, and field work so that there is conceptual clarity. As mentioned earlier, the District Core Teams will identify the target clusters based on available information, for initiating the exercises in the DPEP Phase I districts, for micro planning. However, school mapping in conjuction with micro planning, exercises will be carried out in two blocks (Mayong and Dudhnoi) on a pilot basis.

To make the BEC/BLEC an empowered body, active involvement in the planning and implementation processes as a natural corollary to the micro planning and school mapping orientation of the members will be organised. Sustainability of the programme and actual translation will depend on a large extent on the successful empowerment of the BEC/BLEC.

All actual field activities will be preceeded by awareness generation programmes and pre-publicity for creating a suitable environment. Mobilisation of the community will be a key process, carried out with the help of animators, facilitators etc. Orientation of field level functionaries, animators, VEC members, Women Groups etc. will be organised.

Expected Outcomes (of initial phase)

  • A Village Profile Action Plan of target area villages.
  • Completion of school mapping exercise in pilot blocks.
  • Preparation of a Block Master Plan in the pilot blocks.
  • Development of a pool of Master Trainers at the district and sub-district levels for subsequent extension.
  • Creation of teams of Facilitators and animators who can be actively associated in the other programmes.
  • Awareness generation and mobilisation of the community, across all sections.


The Bihar Education Project (BEP) is aimed to be an instrument of educational reconstruction. Its main aim is to attain Universalisation of Elementary Education. Education is considered a process of social reconstruction. The BEP acts as a catalyst by mobilising the community to undertake educational activities. School mapping and micro planning exercises are based on their own understanding of these tools.

The BEP, is on the threshold mission of DPEP. The Bihar Education Project started in three districts of Ranchi, Rohtas and West Champaran in 1991-92. It is the first comprehensive externally funded `Education for All’ Project initiated in India. This was extended to four more districts in 1992-93. Now, selected districts of Bihar are planned to covered under DPEP. The DPEP activities will cover 17 districts including the seven districts covered under the BEP. The preparatory activities of the DPEP are progressing at the state level.

For involving the community to spread education, an environment has to be created. Environment building is a process of involving the community by increasing communication. This is done by ways of wall writing, conducting padayatras, cultural greetings, panchayat meetings etc. These are ways of environment building. In this process of environment building, animators or `preraks’ are identified. People who are ready to act as agents of social change are the `Preraks’. The group of preraks include the disadvantaged sections of society and women. Women form at least one-third of the Prerak Dal.

A five-day training programme is conducted for the Preraks for conducting micro planning exercises. This training programme is not just a lecture session, but is actually a process of rapport building. After undergoing training, the Preraks go to the villages and start the environment building activities. They try to convey to the people and Mukhiyas what is the role of education in the process of social reconstruction. The mobilising groups start the micro planning exercises. There are 11 stages which have been identified by BEP to complete the micro planning exercises. This is based on the `PRASOON’ module. The different steps are given below:

  1. Social mapping
  2. Resource mapping
  3. Educational Survey
  4. Trend analysis
  5. Responsibility chart
  6. Seasonal Analysis
  7. Informal discussions
  8. Household survey
  9. Teachers response/school mapping
  10. Analysis of data
  11. Preparation of village educational plan

The micro planning exercises are used to form `village education committees’ or to strengthen the existing VECs. VEC’s are evolved through the processs of micro planning. The VEC’s are tried to made more vibrant and more active to help in educational reconstruction.


The state of Gujarat was included in the District Primary Education Programme in the second phase of DPEP. The three districts selected under the DPEP are Dangs, Panchmahal and Banaskanta. Low levels of female literacy was the critierion for selection of the district. A workshop-cum-seminar was held at NIEPA for preparation of district plans. The DPEO of these three districts and state level education officer (planning) were oriented to DPEP activities. This was followed by a sharing meeting at state, district and block levels. Block level officers and NGOs and panchayat officials, prominent educationist were invited to these sharing meetings. Their views on the problems and issues concerning primary education were elicited. Surveys were undertaken to collect necessary data about these districts.

Since District Primary Education Programme has been introduced in Gujarat only in the second round, the state is in initial round of planning process. Capacity building processes are now taking place before the actual planning process takes place. For this, core groups to prepare district plans were identified. While preparing draft plans in each of the three districts, help was taken from IIM and M.S. University Baroda. Proper guidance was given to district planning groups. State component plan for DPEP was prepared at the state level. Guidance for revision of plans was given by state authority by conducting a state level sharing meeting. Accordingly, all plans were revised.

At this stage, a joint team of MHRD officials and Ed.Cil experts visited the state. Every component of the plan was checked by the team. They also visited three districts. Suggestions were made by the team for revising the draft plans. Taking into account these suggestions district draft plans and state component plans were revised. In December, 1995 a workshop cum seminar was organised by MHRD, NIEPA and NCERT which also helped revise the plans. A pre-appraisal mission visited for finalising the plans. Mission also visited three districts. Various discussions were held with NGOs and functionaries. A base-line survey was undertaken with the helpe of GCERT and DIET and a socio-economic survey was taken up by Sardar Patel Institute of Economics Research. The outcomes of these surveys were discussed and were incorporated in the plan.

Appraisal Mission visited the state for final appraisal of the plans. The draft plan and component plans were finalised. Various workshops, seminars and sharing meetings at state, district and village levels, were organised. Orientation programme as well as activities for environment building were also started in these three districts. A workshop on visioning and awareness building at state and district level was also organised. For development of posters and cut outs, various workshops were organised. Various modules for training were developed by GCERT. Various types of training for DIET faculty and VEC members are envisaged to be organised. At present AW plan 97-98 has been prepared


DPEP is an innovation for the attainment of universalization of primary education. The programme started in 4 districts in 1995-96. It is operational in seven districts, out of which four districts namely Hissar, Sirsa, Jind and Kaithal are DPEP (I) districts; Gurgoan, Bhiwani and Mohindergarh were included in DPEP(II) distrcits.

Planning process under DPEP II districts was initiated during 1996-97. Core planning teams headed by project officers and comprising of four members each were identified in these districts. These teams were trained in Decentralized District Planning Process at LBSAA, Mussoorie in June 1996. They were further oriented in the planning process at the state level. Meetings of District Advisory Groups headed by ADCs of respective districts were organized in these districts, in which the objectives of DPEP along with DPEP guidelines were thoroughly discussed and debated. Block Advisory group meetings were held in all the blocks of DPEP II districts. The strategies of the planning process in each block were thoroughly articulated.

Members of district planning teams were asked to organise mass mobilisation for DPEP and organised meetings with district authorities, NGOs and other voluntary organisations engaged in imparting primary education to children. Monthly meetings of the district planning core teams were regularly held to monitor the progress of DPEP planning process in various districts. Planning teams also held monthly meetings in their respective districts with the DEOs, DPEOs, SPEOs, BEOs, heads of selected primary schools, eminent educationists, NGOs and other district officers dealing with Human Resource Development. Core teams held meetings with the community in all the villages of the district. In their interactions with the community, awareness was created for the enrolment of children in primary schools particularly of the girls and children belonging to weaker communities. The district planning team prepared an exhaustive proforma for collecting information on infrastructure facilities, enrolment of boys, girls, SC, ST, OBC, position of teachers and children of 6-11 age group outside the school system. The data received at the block levels were consolidated; another proforma was also developed for VECs members for getting information on the problems and their solutions relating to primary education. These proformae were got filled in from every VEC in every village in the district.

The problems and their solutions (block-wise) were consolidated at the district level. Lists of these problems and their solutions were prepared block wise. These problems were discussed at the DPEP Sammelan organised at CRC and BRC levels. Educational problems of the village schools were identified and community itself suggested solutions which were discussed, articulated and priori­tized. Micro planning exercises were done in each village. Vil­lage map and village profiles were prepared.

School profiles indicating availability of infrastructural facilities and learning material/kits were also prepared for each school. List of infrastructure needed in each village school was also prepared. It was a participatory exercise carried out by the core planning teams in each village of all the DPEP districts. The community actively participated in the preparation of the village profiles and the related micro planning activities. School teachers also participated in the development of school profiles, survey of school going and out-of-school chil­dren and the mass mobilization programmes. Finance Studies, Social Assessment Study (SAS) and Baseline Assessment Study (BAS) were also conducted. SAS was assigned to the Haryana Institute of Public Administration and BAS was assigned to the Management Development Institute (MDI). The core planning teams were actively issued findings of these studies. The findings of the studies were shared among the District Management Groups including core teams.

After ascertaining the existing position of educational facilities in the districts, enrolment of children in these districts, were projected for 2001. Facilities to be provided in schools were discussed keeping in view the local specific problems of each village/block and district. These proposals were prepared in accordance with DPEP guidelines.


The District Primary Education Programme started in Himachal Pradesh on 1st September, 1996. The state of Himachal Pradesh is a hilly state. The norms for opening schools is different in hilly areas when compared to plain regions. Given the geography it is also difficult to conduct school mapping exercises in this state.

For organising school mapping and micro planning exercises, first a state level workshop was conducted in Shimla. Later on, similar workshops were held in different districts. Main work of school mapping and microplanning exercises was done by teachers. Four villages in one panchayat was assigned to two teachers each. Proformae were given to each household for collecting information regarding the household. The main focus was on children not attending school.

Data were collected and tabulated by computers. Data were collected on number of children in the block, enrolment rates, non-enrolled children, castewise distribution of children in different schools etc. The reasons for children not going to school were also assertained and special attention was paid to the non-enrolment children. Other data regarding schools were also collected. On analysing the reasons for children not attending school, it was found that distance was a major factor for non-enrolment of children. After conducting the survey, it was found that about 2000 children were not been attending school due to the distance factor. A discussion was held with local MLAs. A list of places were prepared where schools were required. Of the total number of schools proposed, 50% of them were only opened as there were problems regarding appointment of teachers. A scheme of voluntary teaching was initiated in Himachal. Enrolment drive weeks were celebrated. More and more children were enrolled under this scheme.


Micro Planning aims at involving the community in identifying barriers to enrollment and participation in primary education. It also draws community support to find solutions to overcome these barriers. Micro planning ensure people’s participation . It also locates village specific educational problems and child learning processes . Micro planning exercises help to understands the sensitive village systems, and prepares people – centered educational Action Plan. This exercise locates the role of VEC in consonance with village specific educational problems,. Micro planning helps to fix up the responsibilities by concretising the role of VEC. These VECs monitors the educational system of the village and contributes to the progress of enrollment and retention.

The whole process of micro planning not only enlightens the Resource Persons but also the villagers. These exercises epitomizes the village specific educational problems and Initiate Action Plan. They help in identifying the mechanism for effective implementation with people’s participation. While organizing the training, 2-3 micro planning processes are actually started in the selected villages. It provides scope for practical experience and exposure to the techniques of micro planning and documents the whole process of micro planning. It prepares a village education register.

The training design invariably incorporates people’s participation. This training aims at bringing about an attitudinal change among the resource persons to elicit people’s participation. It helps to identify the specific areas in primary education and elicits people’s participation in primary education. It is field-based and incorporates the feedback from the people. It elicits the field experiences of the resource persons. It also builds up learning environment both for the people and the resource person and consolidates the learning experiences.

In Karnataka, micro planning was conducted in 10-12 villages – Alambadi in Kolar, TS Chatra and Balghatta in Mandya, Baichapura in Bangalore, Hemnur in Raichur and Jodakurali in Belgaum districts. To begin with, social and resource mapping, seasonal analysis and responsibility exercises were undertaken. A house to house survey for child by child design of participation in education was conducted and Village Education Registerwas developed.

Six resource persons went to TS Chatra – some had worked in the total literacy campaign, one was with an NGO and some others were BRC trainers. The Deputy Project Coordinator and the Block Education Officer accompanied them. Other VEC members and elders from the village welcomed them to the village. First, they gathered the school children and went around the village shouting slogans and singing songs. Women and other children curiously peeped out of their houses to watch.

They organized a meeting in which VEC members and others participated. They explained why they had come to the village and asked villagers to identify an appropriate place to draw the village map. They choose the school playground where within half an hour many people joined – mostly members of the local youth association. Villagers were then asked to draw their village map. After initial hesitation and some encouragement the men got started – the women watched. The temple, school, ration shop, cooperative milk center and handpumps were plotted on the ground. They then moved on to drawing the main lanes and houses.

This went on for three full hours. The map was completed, it was transferred on to a chart. By the end of it, along with a feeling of satisfaction for successfully drawing the village map, there was a visible sense of dismay since large number of children were unable to regularly attend school. While this was going on, two resource persons went to the school where 56 children had been enrolled. There were two teachers. Around 35 children were present. Then followed an interesting hour with the children in various activities.

A house to house survey was also conducted with the help of the village youth. Resource persons went through the survey formats to document information about each child in every family. The village survey attempted to provide answers to the following categories of questions:

‘Has she/he ever attended school ?’ ‘When did she/he stop going to school ?’ ‘How regularly was she/he able to attend schools ?’ ‘What kind of work was she/he involved in outside school ?’ ‘Did school have to interrupted because she/he was required to perform domestic work ?’ ‘Did she/he have time to play or watch TV ?’

The whole process entailed not merely data collection, but discussions with members of the family, particularly women and the children themselves. Since there were 283 houses, the people in the village suggested to set up two teams – each team comprised four persons with at least one woman. Using the social map each team was designated specific areas in the village. Each resource person accompanied a team to a couple of houses to share the experience and were careful not to be too obtrusive. The work was relatively easy for the local teams who knew the people in the households and understood the circumstances in which they lived.

A variety of symbols and colors were used to plot this on a local calendar. The seasonal map confirmed that both – school going and non enrolled children were involved in agricultural activities. Sugarcane cutting during January and March coincides with terminal examinations. Children were generally free from agricultural work in April and May which coincided with the school vacations. During peak agricultural season, all the members of the family are busy. School attendance is naturally erratic during these months. Carrying food for elders in the fields was a daily responsibility of boys. Girls assisted in family chores along with helping in agricultural operations.

On the last evening of the stay in the village a Gram Sabha was held. There was a festive atmosphere. The evening began with community songs and dances. Then the results of the social, resource, seasonal analyses and the survey were presented to them. The Gram Panchayat Adhyaksha along with the other panchayat and VEC members pledged to take responsibility for all children to attend schools. They also talked about supporting a non-formal education center for children who could not attend school regularly. The meeting ended with promises and pledges.


DPEP, Kerala aims to universalise primary education by the year 2000 A.D. Three districts namely Idukki, Palakkad and Thiruvanthapuram were included under Phase II of DPEP. Kerala is the most literate state in India, Yet, Universal Elementary Education is still unattained due to various social, economic and political reasons.

To create awareness among the general public at the micro level and also to study the educational status of children in the age group of 0-14 years in DPEP-I districts, a house to house survey was conducted. This survey also served to identify areas where new schools can be started. In the survey, one of the crucial reasons quoted by the public for enrolment and drop-out, was non-accessibility of schools.

House to House Survey

This survey was conducted in each of the DPEP districts of the Phase II (3 districts). For this, special forms were made use of. The main objectives of this survey were :

  1. to find out the non-enrolled children of the targeted group (5-10);
  2. to find out the dropout children from class I – IV;
  3. to get the picture of the educational facility of each family for schooling (distance); and
  4. to know the number of families who do not have the schooling facility within a walking distance of < 1 k.m.

This survey was done with the help of teachers of each district. Teachers were given training at block level. Then with the help of the prescribed proforma the teachers conducted the study. For this 15-22 days were taken. The analysis part was done by the Future Study Unit, uni­versity of Kerala.

School Data Base

Using special proforma school data were collected from each school. The main objectives were to know about the details regarding each school such as number of students, number and size of class rooms, details of furniture, equipments, learning aids etc.

Besides these studies, 3 more studies were conducted. They were :

  1. Gender study;
  2. Tribal study; and
  3. Financial study.

All these studies were conducted at state-level and once the studies were completed, the relevent findings were reported to each districts.

Micro Planning using Visualisation in Participatory Process

Apart from the major objective of improving quality of primary education, DPEP aims to ensure that all the beneficiaries and stake holders of the programme are directly involved in developmental activities. With this in mind, a method called Visualisation in Participatory Process is being utilised with the general objectives of :

  1. making people understand various steps in facilitating planning process;
  2. involving PTAs/NGOs/GOs in all planning process;
  3. creating awareness about DPEP; and
  4. operationalising the planning process at micro level.

VIPP method, unlike other training method , believes in the participants’ capability to develop and improve themselves. It combines techniques of visualisation with methods of interactive learning. Group games, role plays etc. are used to convey ideas, seek solutions and prioritise problems, solutions and strategies. This helps participants to know more about their capacities, strengths and weaknesses, encourage them to seek more knowledge.

VIPP method was introduced in DPEP Kerala through two rounds of training at the State level by VIPP experts from UNICEF, Chennai and Mumbai. These sessions attended by the DIET faculty members included ‘mock’ District and Panchayath level sessions and provided practice to participants to skillfully conduct the sessions, later, at district, block and Panchayath levels.

As part of planning process for DPEP – II, VIPP sessions were initially conducted at the district level in which district level functionaries of Jilla Panchayath, MLAs, MPs, district level officers and Block-Panchayath Presidents participated. Subsequently, similar VIPP sessions were conducted at Block level and Panchayath level to evolve a list of possible strategies to be adopted for addressing the various issues related to primary education in the district. A final decision on the strategies to be adopted was agreed upon by the district level groups at the second round of VIPP sessions. Thus the final list of project interventions were decided by an entirely democratic process of identification of problems and causes at Panchayath, Block and District levels. The process that was followed is illustrated in the flow chart.

Modify and Restrategise

Modify and Restrategise

DPEP, Kerala in an effort to involve even more people at the grassroots level in its project, made a conscious decision to use participatory methodologies in the training of officials. Thus, a state level training of trainers workshop for DPEP officials was held at Mithranikethan, Trivandrum. The objectives of the workshop were to orient and familiarise participants on the “Participatory Planning Process” and to understand how to prioritise problems and evolve strategies. The workshop was conducted using participatory training techniques and maintained active participation of the group.

Before going into the VIPP sessions, the objectives and guidelines of DPEP were explained to the participants by the State Project Director. Clarifications about the Government of India and World Bank procedures were made.

Role play was utilised when the three groups are asked to introduce DPEP to people at the Village, Block and District levels. The groups brought out the difficulty in introducing the programme, the scepticism of teachers, mothers, officials and chaos that reigns in all such meetings.

Village Level Planning

The participants had by now learned the techniques used in VIPP. Now the groups were asked to plan for implementing DPEP at the village level. The groups were reorganised and were given the name, CRICKET, KATHAKALI and DRUNK. In this session, the participants were given a free hand in making all choices themselves as how to distribute them, how many problems to identify, who will make the presentation etc. The initial listing brought out a lot of village specific issues. Later, through role play, a demonstration of how village level planning should take place was done with four teachers, headmistress, parents, youths and panchayath members of the village.

Thus each and every participant, after the three day workshop was equipped with skills for prioritising problems, identification of causes and development of strategies. Further, they clearly understood the usefulness of using participatory methodologies while planning project interventions for DPEP, Kerala.


The planning process under DPEP was initiated in 1993 in the state of Maharashtra for universalisation of elementary education. In this year, plan of action covering source areas were prepared. The year 1994-95 was devoted to preparing base line surveys identifying school facilities, locating new plans for `Balwadies’ and introduction of awareness programmes. Schemes like parental education, training of members of village education committees were also introduced. The actual implementation of the programme started in the year 1994-95.

A serious effort in decentralized planning of education under DPEP focuses on planning from grassroots level by ensuring local participation. The involvement of local bodies and community at large is very important for initiating and implementing school mapping and microplanning exercises as it strengthens the local capacity-building. Micro planning and school mapping are useful planning techniques/tools to develop such area specific plans. In Maharashtra, two workshops were held on microlevel educational planning. The first one was conducted from 27-29 September, 1995 at SCERT, Pune for DPEP-I and the second one was held from 27 to 31 December, 1996 at Aurangabad for DPEP-II.

The main objectives of the training programmes were to acquaint the participants with decentralised and area specific planning; to introduce the participants to the concept and approaches to school mapping and micro planning; to train them in school mapping and micro planning activities; and to equip them with the techniques of micro planning and school mapping exercises.

The participants of the programme were mainly DIET and SCERT faculty members, supervisors, training incharge, Block Education Officers and the district resource personnel. The resource persons of the programme consisted mainly of faculty members of NIEPA, Lok Jumbish and SCERT.


The training methodology consisted of classroom lectures and discussions followed by groupwork and practical exercises. A major share of time was spent on practical exercises and groupwork.


The participants understood the concept and importance of micro planning. They were acquainted with various aspects of the planning such as objectives, physical targets, financial targets, time limit, importance of community participation. An interest was created amongst them regarding these issues. Also, prioritization of needs and effectiveness of different schemes were discussed. The other aspects like monitoring and evaluation remained the important aspects of the process. The workshop was participatory and the experts from Lok Jumbish shared their valuable experiences in microplanning. The participants saw a number of video documents, depicting the actual process conducted in a village in Rajasthan.

As a follow up of this training, participants were asked to conduct the microplanning exercises on a sample basis, to get the direct feel of community perception. As part of the training, field work was included in the training progarmme. Visits to villages were made and 6 villages of a block in Aurangabad were visited. There was a discussion ith regarding the village map.

As a follow up workshop, school mapping exercises were conducted on a sample basis. This was done in the DPEP(I) districts of Aurangabad, Parbhani, Nanded, Latur and in some villages of Jalna, Beed, Dhula and Gadchiroli. A house to house survey was conducted. There was a project proposal for having enrolment registers. Meetings were held at village level. Meetings were held with Village Education Committee and Taluka Advisory Committees. At the district level, meetings were also held with executive and advisory committees.

All these activities were helpful in creating a suitable atmosphere for future activities. Thus, school mapping exercises conducted on a sample basis proved to be successful in environment building activities.


The District Primary Education Programme was initiated in the state of Orissa to universalise primary education. Orissa is in the second round of DPEP districts. Initially, 5 districts were covered under this scheme – Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Gajapati and Rayagada. This programme was later on extended to 3 more districts.

DPEP in Orissa, in its initial stages of implementation is focussing on capacity building at various levels. In this process, various people were imparted training in different aspects. Taining programmes were conducted to impart skills in school mapping and microplanning to resource persons.

The training programmes had various objectives. One of the aspects of training was to give a general exposure to DPEP. Information was imparted about the concepts and methods of school mapping and microplanning. Another aspect of training was the participatory process of microplanning. For training purposes, one block from each district was selected. There was a group of resource persons at the state level. Below this, there was a group of resource persons at the district level. Various animators were selected at the village level. Thus, resource persons at different levels of administration were imparted training in school mapping and micro planning.


School mapping and micro-planning represent the principal operational feature of Lok Jumbish at the village level. Its objectives are:

  • to ensures community mobilization;
  • to ensure increasing enrolment of girls by paying attention to the girl child and the women;
  • to focus attention on quality rather than quantity of education;
  • to create demand for education rather than a system which only supplies;
  • to ensures a rich diversity in the delivery sys­tem;
  • to ensure domination of the community rather than that of the administration;
  • to underline the importance of the school rather than that of the system;
  • to strengthen the bottom-up approach to decentralized as well as flexible managements of education;
  • to ensure transparency whereby data is collected and used by the same people who are linked together by the proc­ess. This results in the empowerment of people who earlier had no idea of their value.

The main stages of school mapping under Lok Jumbish are:

Environment Building : Work in the village usually begins with activities geared to build environment conducive enough to later activities. It is defined as a creation of positive environment which allows for all men and women of the village to prepare themselves mentally to accept and understand the message which needs to be conveyed. As of January 31, 1997, environment building has taken place in 2938 villages.

Developing Core Team : School mapping exercise is initiated through core a team. Each core team has a minimum of 6 members and in a big village, upto 20 to 22 members. In very big villages Jumbish Dals are organized (and trained) for various localities. Mem­bers from these groups later constitute the core team for the village. Efforts are made to ensure that each core team has at least 50% women members. The village panch, sarpanch, female ward member etc. are also members of the core team. Active teachers, lady teachers, Shiksha Karmis and instructors of Sahaj Shiksha Kendra are also members and also work as coordinator of the core team. In case they are not available, then any suit­able, educated person is entrusted with the task. As of January 31, 1997, 2332 core teams (with a membership of 14936 men and 8173 women) were functioning.

Survey and the Naksha Nazri : The survey and the Naksha Nazri (the village map) that procede and follow it, form the basic components of school mapping. The Naksha Nazri conveys in one glance the situation in the village. It is a basis for discussion on the situation within the vil­lagers which allows an easy understanding of the situation of those who are deprived of primary education It is a very powerful instrument for school mapping, and is the basis to involve deprived children in education. The survey results in the final Naksha Nazri, and informa­tion is contained in Family Survey Form, (incorporating family and village education register) and the statistical abstract, commonly known as “goshwara” is prepared. As of July 31, 1997 school mapping exercise has been com­pleted in 2850 villages.

Norms and Preparation of Plan : The limits that are set on the basis of our expected requirements and the resources available to fulfil them are shown as norms. Normally it is important to take decisions on the basis of established norms but under special circumstances they need not be so rigid and in which case revised decisions are taken at the level of KSPS. All KSPS decision are taken as final and are implemented by the various government departments.

Micro Planning

The basic aspects of micro-planning include: enrolment of all boys and girls (and special emphasis of those who remain deprived), regular attendance and retention of those who are enrolled, creating a sense of responsibility towards education of children in parents and the community etc.

Village Education Register and Retention Register

Village Education Register: It is a register which conveys the educational situation of each boy and girl of all families in the village.

A list is prepared of boys and girls who are not regular in their studies or have not been brought within the education system. Parents of such children are inspired through locality- wise meetings or house to house contacts. This list is made by the teacher and the meeting organised by members of VEC: The VER is kept in the school or in the SS Kendra, in case there is no school. After every two years, the survey is done again. With every survey a new VER is made.

Retention Register : In many ways, retention register is a mirror of the school and whether it is being run satisfactorily or unsa­tisfactorily. The purpose of retention register is basically to calculate the retention rate of a school or a class, that is, how many children continue their studies and how many drop out.

Teachers and instructors are trained on various aspects of retention register. In these trainings special attention is paid to the fact that starting retention register on a large scale is an important innovation. It contributes to the recreation of educational organisation, and it is necessary to monitor special­ly children who are irregular in the school or have left it.

Praveshotsav : Praveshotsav is an event through which a positive and creative environment is created for education amongst chil­dren, the school and the community; parents develop a sense of responsibility and environment to create and observe dignity and respects towards the teacher; the schools start functioning from the beginning of the session; effective retention becomes possi­ble; Initial hesitation in children is removed, and positive environment created; the environment of fear is removed and a cordial relationship between the teacher and children is created; the dignity and respect of teacher is increased and intimate relationship with the community created; positive environment towards education is created and is related it to the village community.

Village Education Committees (VECs) : Village Education Commit­tees do not get set up by an executive order, rather they evolve over a period of time. As a matter of fact it is the Core Team which after a course of time becomes Village Education Committee by taking in members from other village committees. It plays an important role in strengthening primary education in the village through the use of micro-planning, once school mapping exercise is completed.

Village Education Plan : This is also a new instrument under micro planning. Its main function is to monitor from year to year information about the number of boys and girls of 5-14 age group who are attending school and those who are still out of it. Overall progress in regard to effective enrolment is monitored at the village level with the help of the Village Education Plan.


Initially, DPEP was implemented in 3 districts in Tamil Nadu ,and later on 3 more districts were included in DPEP phase II. While preparing Annual Work Plans and District Plans, it was felt that there was a lack of scientific data. So, a need based and area specific data base was required. Data pertaining to number of children, enrolment rates, dropouts etc was required.

State representatives from Tamil Nadu attended a training programme on school mapping and microplanning in NIEPA in 1997. Based on this training programme, a workshop was organised in Tamil Nadu regarding school mapping and microplanning in March ,1997.

The participants of the training programme consisted of a team of state resource persons. The training was imparted by the state resource team (state planning team) to the `District Level Resource Persons’. Training was imparted to district planning team members in a two-day workshop conducted. Training was then imparted by district resource persons to block resource persons, AEEOs and AAEEOs. The block resource persons then imparted training to Headmasters and Teachers, i.e. the enumerators and supervisors during second and third week of August. Enumeration was then carried out in the field. The data collected were then consolidated. Consolidation of data started at habitation level. It was then consolidated at the village panchayat level. There was compilation of data at block level and, later on, at district level. It was at the district level that report writing actually took place. School mapping and microplanning exercises were actually carried out after the workshop. The workshop was very helpful in implementing school mapping exercises.

In the school mapping exercise, a block map was drawn and the participants were then asked to plot the schools in the block in the map. The names of all villages and villagers werelisted at the block level. Number of schools, their staff position, student enrolments were noted down and areas were identified where schools were actually required. It was found that 19 habitations required schools at present and total number of schools for 2001 were estimated. Additional facilities required in schools was also estimated.

Training on school mapping exercises and house hold surveys were provided to functionaries at different levels of educational administration. Microplanning exercises helped in environment building activities. Bal Melas were conducted and community participation was on a massive scale. Such activities heldped establishing rapport between school s, teachers and villagers.


The `Basic Educaiton Project’ has been in implementation in U.P. since October, 1993. It is an externally aided project which covers 12 districts for a period of 7 years. The main objective of the project is to bring all children in the age group 6-14 within the fold of education by the year 2000. This will be achieved through the use of formal as well as informal systems of learning.

Under this project micro planning exercises have been conducted in U.P. to assess the situation of primary edcuation. The unit of micro planning in this project was a habitation and not a village. Two training programmes were held in Allahabad and Aligarh for training people in micro planning exercises. Micro planning exercises were conducted in two phases. First phase was conducted during 1994-95 and second phase was conducted during 1995-96.

In the first phase, 3 blocks were included. The remaining blocks were covered in the second phase. The first phase of training focussed on micro planning exercises. The second round of training focussed on awareness building programmes.

To facilitate micro planning exercises, some formats were used. The formats developed by NIEPA were used for micro planning. Information was required regarding the number of children in the school going age group, the number of children enrolled, non-enrolled children, targetted children for enrolment in next year, names of children and so on.

In total, 5 formats were used for collection of data.

  1. The first format was on household survey. It was a joint venture of animators and teachers for 50 households.
  2. Format nos. 2 and 3 – This format was regarding information pertaining to habitation and village level.
  3. Format 4 – This format dealt with facilities available in the area.
  4. Format 5 – This format dealt with information regarding village education plan.

Information was collected on the basis of the above formats. The collected information was then compiled at the block level. On the basis of the existing information 7 new formats were created:

  1. Format 1 dealt with lists of primary schools;
  2. Format 2 dealt with lists of upper primary schools;
  3. Format 3 dealt with lists of new formal centres;
  4. Format 4 pertained to facilities required in existing schools;
  5. Format 5 dealt with schools required to be closed or transferred;
  6. Format6 asked for informationon schoolswith enrolment less than 50% of school going population; and
  7. Format 7 asked for information on schools with enrolment between 50% and 75% of school going population.

School mapping exercises were also carried out. For school mapping, block was chosen as the unit. Maps were prepared for all 174 blocks. Information regarding school mapping exercises were collected and compiled. The above information was useful in locating children and deployment of teachers. The information was also used as a basis for opening new schools. The above information will also be useful while considering Phase II districts of Basic Education Project in U.P.


The state of West Bengal was included in the second round of DPEP states. The actual project started recently. Money has started flowing recently in December, 1996. The state of West Bengal is in the preparatory stage of capacity building. Certain capacity building exercises for undertaking tasks relating to microplanning and school mapping have been chalked out. West Bengal has tried to be independent and evolve its own strategy for conducting school mapping and microplanning exercises. At the national level, training programme on school mapping and microplanning exercises was conducted by NIEPA, New Delhi and LBSNAA, Mussoorie, at the state level, the state Project offices (DPO) conducted these exercises. Below this, the District Project Office (DPEP) conducted exercises at the district level. At the block level, exercises were executed by Block Resource Centre under block level co-ordination committee (BLCC). At the village level, the VEC did the field work and microplanning exercises.

Training was imparted at the national level for conducting school mapping and microplanning activities. State Resource persons had a 5 day training course in September, 1996 at NIEPA, New Delhi and a 9 day training course for 21 state resource persons at LBSNAA Mussoorie in November, 1996. The training courses had practical exercises which were more intensive with village level Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Process. At the state level, training was imparted by the state resource persons in January, 1997. One training programme was organised for the district level resource persons, another training programme was organised for the sub-district level structure personnel. Special stress was laid down on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises.

At the district level, workshops were organised on school mapping and micro planning in June, 1997. PRA exercises were special components of the district level workshops. Workshops were conducted in 5 DPEP districts of South Parganas, Birbhum, Bankura, Murshidabad and Coochbehar. Inspection officers and members of the 3-tier panchayat system in the districts were oriented in large numbers. At the sub-district and lower levels, training will be organised at the level of villages October, 1997.

Modules were adopted and developed at the state level for imparting training in micro planning and school mapping exercises (including PRA components). They were used in state level, district level and sub-district level workshops on the concerned issues.

To facilitate micro planning processes, village level information will be collected. This will be collected with the use of certain formats. Household information will be collected on an individual basis in Format 1. Household information will be collected in Format 2, which will be consolidated. Information for village education register will be collected in Format 3, which will be collected household-wise. School information will be collected villagewise in format 4.

School mapping and PRA exercises were successfully conducted in district of South 24 Parganas of West Bengal.

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