BHUBANESWAR: The Samikshya programme of Odisha Government has come in for praise from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) with Union Minister Smriti Irani proposing to recommend it as a model to other States.
Under Samikshya, a performance tracking programme of the School and Mass Education Department, elementary and secondary schools are continually assessed on five components taking into account curricular, co-curricular and management aspects.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Union Minister said monitoring of schools through a tracking cell is one of the several good practices adopted by Odisha, the other being its chipping in with additional funds for construction of model kitchens under the mid day meal (MDM) scheme. These are features which will be recommended to other States, she said.
While appreciating Odisha Government, the HRD Ministry also sought improvement in the State’s performance in providing sanitation facilities in schools as at least 13 per cent of elementary schools do not have girls’ toilets. As many as 23,259 toilets including 5,733 girls’ are awaiting completion of construction.
“All schools must have a girls’ toilet, if we are to retain girls in schools,” Irani said in the letter.
Similarly, over 1,900 schools - both primary and upper primary - are yet to be completed and the Government needs to speed up the work.
Infrastructure apart, coverage under MDM too needs improvement, Irani’s letter said pointing out that only 84 per cent of children take supplementary nutrition in the State. While only 53 per cent Government schools have kitchen sheds, the Government must complete construction work of 10,930 sheds which were sanctioned in the past.
The Ministry also requested the Government to expedite land allocation for establishment of Kendriya Vidyalayas in various parts of the State.
The KV Sangathan has proposed to set up schools at Cuttack, Bhanjanagar, Sonepur, Deogarh, Khariar, Mahuldiha and Rairangpur but has been awaiting land allocation from the Government whereas in Kutra, Aska, Nayagarh, Digapahandi, Murgabadi and Nuapada, the transfer of land is still incomplete, it added.