BHUBANESWAR: The state government launched yet another initiative to retain students in the lower primary school by distributing 20 lakh free school kits during their admission.
Besides, the state government also launched the Ujwala scheme for learning enhancement of school children. Both the initiatives were launched by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the Unit I government primary school here.
School kits will be provided to students of class I,II and III across the State on their admission day. The primary aim of the initiative is to retain the students after admission, school and mass education minister Debi Prasad Mishra.
The kits to be provided free of cost to the students include a school bag, pencil, exercise copies, pictorial and other related materials. This will be besides the school textbooks provided to the students. The new initiative will cost the state exchequer `40 crore per annum.
The chief minister also released the community diary on the occasion. The diary will contain opinion of school management committee members, parents and guardians of the students on matters related school and study of the students.
While the chief minister launched the enrolment initiative here, the scheme will be launched in other schools during June last week and July first week. Addressing the function, the chief minister said education is the most important right of a child.
He called upon the members of school management, parents and guardian to cooperate with the government to make both the initiatives a success. Besides, minister of state tourism and culture Ashok Panda, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani, Bhubaneswar MLAs Bijoy Mohanty and Priyadarshi Mishra, Bhubaneswar mayor Anant Narayan Jena and secretary in the school and mass education department Ranjana Chopra addressed the function.
However, despite launching a number of schemes, enrolment in primary schools and upper primary (UP) schools has decreased. nrolment of students in primary and UP schools decreased by five per cent during the period from 2009 to 2014 whereas admission in private schools increased.
While students in primary schools decreased from 44.9 lakh in 2009-10 to 42.8 lakh in 2013-14, enrolment in UP schools came down from 21.3 lakh in 2009-10 to 21 lakh in 2013- 14. Admission of girl students in primary schools decreased 21.8 lakh to 20.7 lakh during the period while the number of Scheduled Caste (SC) students also came down from 8.65 lakh to 8.06 lakh.