CHENNAI: Forty-five children, who had stopped going to school out of fear of wild animals like tigers, have returned to their institution in Mudumalai, a tiger habitat in Nilgiris district, after the Tamil Nadu government provided jeep for their safe transportation.
State Minister for School Education P Benjamin also said that state government's self-defence programme for girl children has developed confidence among them.
He said the Panchayat Union Primary School at Mudumalai in Nilgiris district caters to the educational needs of 100 families in areas of Puliyalam, Mundakarai, Melnagam Palli, and Kappur.
Tribals belonging to communities, including Kattu Naicker, live in such areas which are the natural habitat of tigers besides other animals like leopards, bears, wolves and hyenas, he told the Assembly yesterday.
"As a result of provision of transport facilities, 45 children who had dropped out from fear of these animals have been coming to school safely and regularly," he said, adding jeep was provided for transportation needs of children.
According to the state government, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Western Ghats "is part of the huge tiger landscape in southern peninsular India which serves as source population of tigers in the region."
On education vis-a-vis girls, he said Tamil Nadu is implementing several activities for the promotion of education and all round development of girl children.
"One such programme is the self-defence training for the upper primary girls implemented during 2015-16," he said adding the programme includes lessons and training on recognising danger, attacker, confidence, communication and physical (combat) skills through karate and other martial arts.
For each district, 1000 girl students in seventh and eight classes were selected for self-defence training.
"Totally 30,000 girls benefited from this training.
Most of the parents commented that a great change occurred in the attitude and behaviour of their girl children. They developed greater confidence and self-esteem," he said.
The Minister said recognising the aspirations of parents on educating their children in English medium, the state government commenced English medium sections in elementary education from 2012-13.
"This initiative witnessed a great response from the parents and enrolment in English medium classes has increased considerably. So far, 3,32,590 children have been enrolled in English medium sections," he said, adding primary school teachers are trained every year in teaching through English language."
"The improvement in enrolment and performance in English in State Level Achievement Survey prove that English medium in government schools is not just a pretentious claim but really a paramount achievement due to the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Government," he said.
He said at primary level, the Net Enrolment Rate has increased to an all time high of 99.85 per cent during 2015-16 and at upper primary level, NER improved to 99.11 per cent during 2015-16.