NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure that children in tribal areas are not deprived of quality education, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his government will put in place an extensive network of more than 400 new 'Eklavya Model residential schools' by 2022 across the country.
"We are developing an extensive network of 'Eklavya Model residential schools in the country. By 2022, more than 400 such new schools will be opened," said Prime Minister Modi in his address to the Ekal Vidyalaya Sangathan, Gujarat, through video conference.
"The Central government is working for the education of tribal children with special emphasis on their skill development. The scholarship schemes for the tribal children have been made more transparent and more opportunity is provided to them for their education," he added.
The Prime Minister said that small things are being taken care of in these schools, which are meant for tribal students.
"We are paying attention to every small thing like holidays are granted in these schools on tribal festivals. As a result, the drop-out rate has decreased and the tribal children are also happy," he said.
"These schools are also being developed to provide them with modern sports facilities," said Prime Minister Modi.
Stressing on the need for the government and the society to strive collectively to make the schemes a success, Prime Minister Modi said: "In my view, the government efforts alone are not sufficient. The government and society should collectively strive for making such schemes a success."
Prime Minister Modi also shared the idea of pairing private and public schools wherein students from the rural background will learn from their urban counterparts and vice versa, thus boosting the idea of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'.
He also congratulated Ekal Vidyalaya Sangathan for spearheading the 'Ekal School Abhiyan' which aims to promote the education among rural and tribal children, and appreciated the Sangathan volunteers for their role in nation-building by imparting education and awareness to more than 2.8 million rural and tribal children who reside in the remotest locations across India and Nepal.
Congratulating the Sangathan on reaching the figure of 1 lakh schools across India, the Prime Minister said that working with passion, dedication, and commitment turns an impossible goal into an achievable one. He highlighted the fact that the Sangathan has been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize due to its commitment towards social service and for being an inspirational role model for the whole country.
The Prime Minister noted that the Union Government is also working enthusiastically for better education and skill development in India. Schemes like scholarship for scheduled tribes' children, Poshan Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush, and school holidays on the occasion of tribal festivals, etc., have helped not only in checking the school dropout rates but also promoted the holistic development of children.
The Prime Minister remarked that as India completes 75 years of Independence, the success of Ekal Sangathan will help in realising Mahatma Gandhiji's ideals of Gram Swaraj, social justice of Dr BR Ambedkar, 'Antyodaya' of Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Swami Vivekananda's dream of a glorious India.
Ekal Vidyalaya is a movement involved in the integrated and holistic development of rural and tribal India and Nepal. The main activity undertaken in this movement is to run one-teacher schools, known as Ekal Vidyalayas, all over India, in the remotest rural and tribal villages to take the education to every child.