The Secondary Education which serves as a bridge between primary and higher education is expected to prepare young persons between the age group 14-18 in the world of work and entry into higher education. The Secondary Education starts with classes 9-10 leading to higher secondary classes 11 and 12. The relevant children population at the secondary and senior secondary level, as projected in 1996-97 by NSSO has been estimated at 9.66 crores. Against this population, the enrolment figures of the 1997-98 shows that only 2.70 crores attending schools. Thus, two-third of the eligible population remains out of the school system. To accommodate the children in schools at secondary level, we have at present 1.10 lakhs institutions (1998-99). With the emphasis on universalisation of elementary education and programmes like District Primary Education Programme, the enrolment is bound to increase and once this happens, we may require more than two lakhs institutions at the secondary level to accommodate them.
General Structure of School Education
A uniform structure of school education viz., the 10+2 system has been adopted by all the States and Union Territories of India. However, within the States and the UTs, there are variations in the number of classes constituting the Primary, Upper Primary, High and Higher Secondary schools, age for admission to class I, medium of instruction, stages of public examinations, teaching of Hindi and English, number of working days in a year, academic session, vacation periods, fee structure, compulsory education etc.
The development of Secondary Education sector is also guided by the following Centrally Sponsored Schemes:
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
- ICT @Schools
- Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage
- Vocationalisation of Secondary Education
- Girls Hostels
- Model School