NEP 2020 has a key goal to ensure fair and inclusive education for all children, regardless of their background or socio-cultural identities. It emphasizes that no child should be left behind in terms of educational opportunities. The policy addresses the concerns of Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs), which includes females and transgender individuals.
Moreover, the NEP recognizes the importance of gender equality in education and treats it as a significant priority. To achieve this, the policy encourages collaboration between states and local community organizations. The ultimate aim is to create an educational system that supports and empowers all students, regardless of their gender or social status.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has introduced a Gender Inclusion Fund (GIF) to support girls and transgender students, aiming to provide fair and high-quality education for them. The NEP is committed to ensuring equal and excellent education for girl children through specific provisions under Samagra Shiksha 2.0. This program allocates dedicated resources to help Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs).
Samagra Shiksha offers various interventions to enhance the quality of education for girls. These include establishing schools in the neighborhood for easier access, providing free uniforms and textbooks to girls up to class VIII, deploying additional teachers, especially in remote or hilly areas, and ensuring residential quarters for teachers.
The program also appoints more female teachers, grants stipends to girls with special needs (CWSN) from grades one to 12, builds separate toilets for girls, conducts teachers’ sensitization programs to encourage girls’ participation, and develops gender-sensitive teaching materials, including textbooks.
To bridge gender gaps in school education, the government has established Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs). These are residential schools specifically for girls from disadvantaged groups like SC, ST, OBC, Minority, and Below Poverty Line (BPL), and they cater to classes five to 12. These schools are set up in Educationally Backward Blocks.
As of June 30, 2023, the country has 5639 sanctioned KGBVs, with an enrollment of 6.88 lakh girls. The process of upgrading KGBVs began in 2018-19. So far, 357 KGBVs have been approved for up-gradation to Type-II (grades six to 10), and 2010 KGBVs have been approved for up-gradation to Type-III (grades six to 12). This initiative aims to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for girls from marginalized backgrounds.