Odisha government school students yet to get uniforms

Students of government-run schools of Jagatsinghpur are yet to get uniforms even after five months of reopening of schools after summer vacation.

Published: 23rd November 2018 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2018 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Students of government-run schools of Jagatsinghpur are yet to get uniforms even after five months of reopening of schools after summer vacation.

Last year during Teacher’s Day celebration, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that the State Government will provide free uniforms to both BPL and APL students studying in State-run schools. Earlier, only students belonging to BPL families were getting uniforms. 

However, no funds were sanctioned under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) for purchasing uniforms for APL students. On the other hand, the SSA sanctioned `6.44 crore in the academic year of 2017-18 to procure uniforms for 1.61 lakh students. There are a total of 40,000 APL students in the district. 

There are 1,381 government-run primary and upper primary schools in the district that get funds under SSA. Under the scheme, government spends `400 for two pairs of uniforms per child belonging to BPL category. As no funds were sanctioned for buying uniforms for APL students, the school management committees decided to divert some funds for the purpose.

Sources said there was verbal instruction by officials of the School and Mass Education department to do so. As a result, instead of spending `400 on buying two pairs of uniforms, the schools spent `120 to `150 to purchase one pair of substandard quality uniform for the BPL students. The remaining money was used to buy uniforms for APL students.

Sanatan Bhoi, a daily wager of Peteipur village, said the uniforms supplied by schools last year have already been damaged and only one set of uniform has been provided this year.

SSA District Project Coordinator Sapani Kumar Jena admitted that funds were diverted last year to buy uniforms for APL students. “From the next academic year, uniforms will be provided to students of both the categories. We are expecting funds for uniforms to reach all government schools within a week’s time. The cost of free uniforms for APL students will be borne by State Government,” he added.


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