A Promising Start - Processes and Interventions of the Janshala Programme

Posted In:    Process documentation    Delhi    India    UNICEF    Children    child labour    UNDP    Tribal    DPEP    Rajasthan    UNESCO    MHRD    Janshala    Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan    community mobilization    community school    UN agencies    ILO    UNFPA    scheduled caste    English    Publications/Reports    Education    Rajasthan    2003   

An insight into some of the strategies adopted by the Janshala Programme in its quest for universal elementary education.


The Janshala (GOI-UN) Programme was a collaborative effort of the Government of India and five UN agencies—UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO and UNFPA - to provide programme support to the efforts of GOI towards achieving UEE. Janshala, a community-based primary education programme, aimed to make primary education more accessible and effective, especially for girls and children in deprived communities, marginalised groups, SC/ST/minorities, working children and children with special needs. A unique feature of Janshala was that it was a block-based programme with emphasis on community participation and decentralisation.

Though Janshala operated mainly in rural areas, an interesting development had been the implementation of the programme in urban areas of some States. Rajasthan became the first and only State with exclusive urban coverage, with Janshala being implemented in four cities of the State. In other States, too, one or two cities had been taken up, apart from the rural blocks. Janshala sometimes was also referred to as the first government programme on primary education in urban areas. The programme blocks had been selected on the basis of indicators such as low female literacy, incidence of child labour and presence of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes population in non-DPEP districts.

Janshala, literally meaning ‘community school’, had the primary objective to initiate and promote such processes and practices that facilitated increased involvement of community in all aspects of primary education and in effective school management. To this end the programme States had initiated a number of activities and processes at the habitation and school levels. The programme recognised the fact that more than 80% of formal primary schools in the country were multi-grade and, therefore, there was a need for appropriate teaching methods to be adopted by teachers in these schools. The States had tried to address this issue by developing the skills of teachers in the use of a variety of strategies for better classroom practices. Along with this, the effort of the programme had been to improve the performance of teachers in the use of interactive, child-centred, gender-sensitive methods of teaching. Through its various other interventions and activities the programme aimed to make primary education more accessible and effective, especially for girls and children of deprived communities.

This document describes some of the activities and processes that were taken up by States in five focus areas – community mobilisation and micro-planning; capacity building of teachers; interventions for girls and children with special needs; and alternative schools and urban interventions. The last chapter suggests some of the lessons that the programme had thrown up in the course of its implementation for over five years.

New Concept compiled, edited and designed this document on Processes and Interventions of the Janshala Programme. 

Resource: A Promising Start - Processes and Interventions of the Janshala Programme 

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