GUWAHATI: Over 3 lakh “ghost children” have been done away from Assam’s government and provincialised schools.
This was revealed at a review meeting of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which includes Elementary, Secondary and Teacher Education Departments. The meeting on Monday was chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
“In the meeting, enrollment figure of all government and provincialised schools was shown as 46,69,970 from class I to XII in 2018-19 academic session which is lower than 49,82,180 of the 2016-17 session. The Chief Minister was informed that more than 3 lakh 12 thousand were identified as ghost children that were registered during the previous state government regime,” an official statement said.
It said the previous Congress government had shown the fake figures of ghost children in government schools for embezzlement of public money in the name of textbooks, mid-day meal, uniform etc.
Sonowal took strong exception to such corrupt practices. He asserted that strict action would be initiated against those found guilty.
It was highlighted at the meeting that 63,406 of 86,094 out-of-school students, identified by the Education Department, were mainstreamed into the formal education system till December 2019. Sonowal described it as a “remarkable achievement” as these children with underprivileged background could not afford formal education and were engaged as child labourers in different sectors. This endeavour saved such human resources from getting wasted, he said.
Meanwhile, Sonowal announced that a Chief Minster’s Special Teachers’ Award would be given to the best performing teachers in government schools for their contribution to the overall development of academic activities of their schools, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, inspiriting students to achieve their full potential etc.