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The School Integration Programme (SIP) in Rajasthan is a government initiative to promote social cohesion and inclusion in schools by bringing together students from different social and economic backgrounds. The program was launched in 2004 and has since been implemented in over 10,000 schools across the state.
- Promote social cohesion and inclusion in schools
- Reduce caste and class-based discrimination
- Improve the academic performance of all students
- Create a more equitable and just education system
- Enrolment: The program reserves 25% of seats in all government schools for students from disadvantaged groups, such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes.
- Curriculum: The program includes a curriculum on social justice and human rights in all schools.
- Teacher training: Teachers are trained on how to promote social inclusion and combat discrimination in the classroom.
- Community engagement: The program works with communities to raise awareness of the importance of education and to encourage parents to send their children to school.
- School Integration has led to improved management of schools. Teacher vacancies reduced from 60% to 33%. This has been corroborated by recent UNICEF reports (2016).
- The pass percentage has increased from 66% to 78% for Grade X and from 81% to 84% for Grade XII. The transition rate has increased, especially in case of girls. Previously, there was a lack of government schools covering both elementary and secondary education.
- Consequently, children had to change schools at least thrice in order to complete education from grades I to XII. This was a key cause of drop-outs during transition.
The SIP is a well-intentioned program with the potential to make a significant contribution to social cohesion and inclusion in Rajasthan. However, the program needs to be better implemented and monitored in order to achieve its full potential.