This scheme was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and to improve its quality. The implementation of the scheme started from 2009-10. It is envisaged to achieve an enrolment rate of 75% from 52.26% in 2005-06 at secondary stage of implementation of the scheme by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation. The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017, i.e., by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and achieving universal retention by 2020.
Important physical facilities provided under the scheme are:
(i) Additional class rooms, (ii) Laboratories, (iii) Libraries, (iv) Art and crafts room, (v) Toilet blocks, (vi) Drinking water provisions and (vii) Residential Hostels for Teachers in remote areas.
Important quality interventions provided under the scheme are:
(i) appointment of additional teachers to reduce PTR to 30:1, (ii) focus on Science, Math and English education, (iii) In-service training of teachers, (iv) science laboratories, (v) ICT enabled education, (vi) curriculum reforms; and (vii) teaching learning reforms.
Important equity interventions provided in the scheme are:
(i) special focus in micro planning (ii) preference to Ashram schools for upgradation (iii) preference to areas with concentration of SC/ST/Minority for opening of schools (iv) special enrolment drive for the weaker section (v) more female teachers in schools; and (vi) separate toilet blocks for girls.
Implementation mechanism of the Scheme
The scheme is being implemented by the State government societies established for implementation of the scheme. The central share is released to the implementing agency directly. The applicable State share is also released to the implementing agency by the respective State Governments.
Revision of certain norms of the Scheme
The Government of India has approved the following revised norms of RMSA, with effect from 01.04.2013 :
- To permit State/UT Governments to use State Schedule of Rates(SSOR) or CPWD Rate, (whichever is lower) for construction of civil works permissible under the RMSA.
- To increase the Management, Monitoring Evaluation and Research (MMER) from 2.2 percent to 4 percent of the total outlay under the programme, with 0.5 percent of the 4 percent earmarked for national level and the rest of the 3.5 percent as part of the State allocation. In cases of States where even with this enhanced allocation of 3.5 percent MMER would not be adequate and would hamper the activities under the head, within the 3.5 percent of the overall State MMER component; variations across State/UTs can be approved by the PAB, subject to a maximum of 5 percent of the outlay in any particular State/UT.
- To subsume the other Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Secondary Education– Information and Communication Technology (ICT)@ School, Girls’ Hostel, Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage(IEDSS) and Vocational Education(VE) in their existing form under the Umbrella of RMSA.
- To extend the benefits of RMSA to aided Secondary Schools (excluding infrastructure support/core areas, i.e. Teacher’s salary and Staff salary) for quality interventions as per RMSA umbrella schemes components for aided schools.
- To continue existing fund sharing pattern of 72:25 for the remaining of the 12th Plan the period for non-NER States and 90:10 for NER States (including Sikkim).
- To authorize the RMSA Project Approval Board (PAB) of the Ministry of Education to consider for approval Integrated Plan of the umbrella scheme of RMSA, including the four subsumed Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Secondary Education.
- To authorize the release of funds to the RMSA State Implementation Society directly for all components of the RMSA umbrella scheme.