EDUCATIONAL POLICY

In the National Educational Scenario, J&K State is subsumed as educationally backward in reference to the established indices namely literacy rate, teacher pupil ratio , dropout rate and the absorption pattern of the educated persons. The disquieting features are low literacy rate, higher drop-out rate, gender disparity and mismatch between education and employment. The J&K State strictly adheres to the National Education Policy and with the exponential growth of the institutional framework and reach of services as a consequence of sustained investment folio through plan strategy, improvement in every parameter is visible. The improvement is more pronounced in the field of girls literacy. Education is one of the most valuable means in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women.
The Education Department with broaden objectives of Universalization of Elementary Education, Extension of School facilities with in every school, development of infrastructure and providing incentive structure to improve enrolment and retention in implementing various schemes through the following sectors. 
Elementary Education.
Secondary Education.
Teacher Education.
Direction and Administration.
The main thrust during the current financial year and for the next financial year is to develop the infrastructure facilities for the schools particularly those schools which have recently been up-graded besides introducing the computer education to all the Higher Secondary Schools as one of the subjects. The facilities such as construction of Computer labs and providing of computers to the schools was the priority during 2006-07. during 2006-07. The rest of the incentive schemes for increasing the enrolment, attendance, retention etc. received the main thrust for the development of Education in whole of the Kashmir Division. 

Initiatives taken to Improve Elementary Education in J&K State:

Since independence, the central and state governments have been expanding the provision of primary, formal and non-formal education to realize the goal of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE). The challenge now is to sustain and deepen current reforms in education and encourage local planning and management of strategies for expanding and improving Elementary Education in the state. With a view to cushioning the impact of rising costs of text books the State Government is providing Free Text books to all the children reading in elementary classes (though there was a provision of free text books to all girls and SC/ST children)..
Removal of systemic deficiencies in the implementation of UEE and forging ahead necessitates the creation of informed public opinion and a facilitative environment akin to that of the Total Literacy Campaign. This has to be achieved through effective and sustained advocacy, massive community mobilization and awareness programmes. With this perspective, a national programme of media publicity and advocacy has been planned. The programme will target: 
Teachers and all those involved in education of children.
Students and parents of students, particularly non-literate parents; and.
Community opinion leaders
The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), a programme to establish residential schools for girls in all the districts which have a particularly low female literacy rate has been announced. The central government has also decided to grant financial incentives and scholarships for the girl child born in families living below the poverty line. 
Several central and state level initiatives have been in operation from early 1950ís. While the design of these projects vary substantially, all of them address the objectives and strategies of the National Policy on Education 1986 (NPE-86). They pay special attention to increasing girlsí enrolment, improving educational outcomes, strengthening community involvement, improving teaching and learning materials and providing in-service teacher training. The status of some of these initiatives are discussed below. 
Decentralization
Decentralized planning and management of elementary education is a goal set by the National Policy on Education, 1986. The Policy visualizes direct community involvement in the form of Village Education Committees (VECs) for management of elementary education. The POA, 1992, emphasized micro planning as a process of designing a family-wise and child-wise plan of action by which every child regularly attends school or NFE centre, continues his or her education at the place suitable to him/her and completes at least eight years of schooling or its equivalent at the NFE centre. 
The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments provide for decentralization of the activities and facilitate transfer of power and participation of the local self-government institutions or the Panchayati Raj Institutions. It has created a congenial ambience for the PRIís/VECís to play a more dynamic and proactive role. States are expected to evolve institutional arrangements both in rural and urban areas for undertaking these activities. These structures have been providing voice to women, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, minorities, parents and educational functionaries. They have also, been delegated with responsibilities with regard to location and relocation of existing primary and upper schools on the basis of micro planning and school mapping. In this regard, decentralization of school management to grassroots level bodies is an important policy initiative. 
During the 8th plan period several innovative efforts hove been made under the ongoing projects to establish decentralization. For instance, the District Primary Education Programme has shifted the planning mechanism from the state to the district level, and has even gone one step further by assigning decision making processes to a block level committee. At the village level, a VEC has the main responsibility for community mobilization, school mapping, micro planning, renovation and construction of school buildings and improvement of pedagogical curriculum. In fact, the VECs of Shiksha Karmi schools have been activated as a result of the Lok Jumbish programme. These programmes could not kick start in J&K state.