More Than 3 Lakh 'Ghost Children' In Assam's Government Schools, CM Promises Strict Action
The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday, January 6, reviewed the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), on elementary, secondary and teacher education departments, at the Janata Bhawan.
In the meeting, enrolment figure of all government and provincialized schools was showed as 46,69,970 from class I to XII in 2018-19 academic session, which was found to be lower than 49,82,180 of 2016-17 session.
3 lakh 12 thousand enrollees were identified as “ghost” children that were registered during the erstwhile Congress regime.
The meeting found that the previous government had shown these fake figures of fictitious students in government schools of the state in order to embezzle public money allocated for textbooks, mid-day meals, uniforms, and so on.
CM Sonowal said that strict action would be initiated against those found guilty and condemned such corrupt practices.
“Revelations were made that the previous government had shown these fake figures of ghost children in government schools…for embezzling public money in the name of textbooks, mid-day meal, uniform…” The Times Of India quoted the Education Department officials as saying.
A total of 86,094 out-of-school students were identified by the Education Department out of which 63,406 children were brought under the formal education system till December 2019.
Sonowal praised this initiative as children from the underprivileged background are unable to afford formal education and are subsequently engaged as child labourers in different sectors.
“This endeavour has saved such human resources from getting wasted,” Sonowal said.
The Chief Minister’s Special Teachers Award would be given to the best performing teachers in the government schools of the state for their contribution to overall development of academic activities of their schools, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, inspiring the students to achieve their full potential, etc. so that the teachers are encouraged to work doubly hard to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of holistic development of the schools.
Sonowal made further announcements in the meeting.
A Sports and Physical Education Grant of ₹ 25,000 would be released to each of the 4,379 secondary schools (upto class X or XII) in the first week of February, at a state-level function along with an annual composite school grant of up to ₹ 1 lakh.
On being informed about the three months self-defence training provided to the girl students of 9,166 government schools, the CM asked the department to cover more schools and highlighted the importance of empowering the girl children with self-defence skills.
Education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya was also present at this meeting.