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The state government of Uttar Pradesh has approved the procurement of 26,599 child-friendly furniture for upper-primary schools spread across 70 districts in the state. At present, there are 46,625 government-run upper primary schools, comprising classes from 6-8 in all 75 districts.
According to state education department officials, ₹488 crore is sanctioned for the same, of which ₹ 327 crore has already been released. The officials also shared that the Union Education Ministry has duly cleared the procurement before implementation.
A senior official from the primary education department of the state told the Hindustan Times, "The government believes that the furniture would help improve classroom pedagogical practices, instil self-confidence among students and also generate pride in them for their institution." He further mentioned that the authorities are hopeful that this move would lead to a spur in the admissions in government schools.
The Divisional Assistant Director of Basic education in Prayagraj, Ramesh Kumar Tiwari, said that the government would procure approved furniture sets from the e-marketplace (GeM) portal that would be checked by a committee headed by the district magistrates. He emphasized that new furniture would be child-friendly with adequate space between the chair and the desk. The spacing is done keeping in mind the different age groups of students.
The stress was on safe, quality furniture made out of circular pipes instead of iron-frames that could cause injury to the students. There would be sufficient space for students to keep their water bottles, school bags, books and notebooks.
The government would procure as many as 16,791 pieces of furniture for 599 schools. In the session 2017-18, furniture procurement occurred for 175 of the schools.
This move would benefit the schools and would encourage more students to come for classes. The literacy rate in UP is lesser than the national average literacy rate. Moreover, the state has a vast divide between male and female literacy rates.
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