BHUBANESWAR: With the general elections less than a year away, chief minister Naveen Patnaik today started reviewing the performance of different departments to take stock of the progress of the ruling BJD's election manifesto for 2014 polls.
Though the review of the performance of departments is a yearly exercise, this year it has assumed significance in view of the ensuing general elections. The exercise will continue until May 17. The performance of departments will also be discussed at a meeting of the state council of ministers and made public later on.
On the first day of the exercise, the chief minister reviewed performance of school and mass education, ST&SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare, Health and Family Welfare departments. Though the ruling BJD claims to have implemented many of the promises made in the manifesto, the state faces big challenges including shortage of teachers and doctors. Besides, many schools do not have own buildings while many of the schools also function from dilapidated buildings.
In the section 'Quality Education for All', the ruling BJD has promised model public school in every block and requisite infrastructure in all schools at the panchayat level. However, 190 adarsh schools have been opened in which 56,753 students have been enrolled. According to official sources, 1305 teachers are in position in 160 adarsh vidyalayas.
The state government claimed to have regularised 18,412 ganasikhyaks and created posts of 24,807 primary teachers to regularise all eligible sikkhya sahayaks. The nomenclature of all sikhya sahayaks has been changed as junior teacher (contractual). Besides, a new initiative “Mo School Abhijan' has been launched in the state to help evolve students in the development activities of their institutions where they have studied. The department maintained that all schools have been supplied text books on a record time.
Besides, over the last four years, the ST and SC Development department has operationalised around 1800 new hostels, thereby enhancing the capacity for residential education. Official sources maintained that 700 more hostels are under construction. Besides, 83 new high schools, six new Ekalavya Model Residential Schools, four Kalinga Model Residential Schools and one mega urban education complex called Biju Patnaik Adarsh Vidyalaya will be operational from the current academic session.
A new scheme for providing residential facility to minority students was launched during 2016-17. As many as 40 hostels have been sanctioned having a capacity for 4000 students.