The district Primary Education Programme (DPEP) guidelines were formulated in April 1993; since then there have been major developments in the evolution of DPEP. In December 1993 the Cabinet accorded its approval for the scheme in principle: in January 1994 the full Planning Commission approved DPEP as a centrally sponsored scheme. The studies conducted as a part of the planning process have been of a path breaking nature; and learning levels of over sixty thousand students were tested as part of a baseline study with a rigorous sampling and pedagogic design, with a view to identify are-specific interventions in each of these districts. The Expenditure Finance Committee of India met in May 1994 and has approved details of the DPEP proposals and its financial parameters.
- To provide access to all children to primary education through formal primary schools or its equivalent through alternatives.
- To reduce overall dropouts at the primary level less than 10 percent.
- To increase achievement levels by 25 percentage points over and above the measured baseline levels.
- To reduce disparities of all types to less than 5 percent.
The best way to develop competencies is to initiate planning exercise in a realistic fashion. The planning methodologies are simplified and are easily understandable by the people at the district level. The national and state resource organizations help in developing planning competencies. This help was of two kinds:
- In developing basic framework for planning education at the district level.
- In organizing programmes to train the local level people.