UP: 1.5 Crore State Govt School Students Without Books, Uniforms; Govt Says Fund Already Released
About 1.5 crore students enrolled in government schools in Uttar Pradesh are still waiting to receive the books and uniforms they are entitled to. According to Aaj Tak reports, the students are yet to receive the government-sponsored books and uniforms, even though their classes have already started from April. The situation is as such that students are forced to come in torn shoes and clothes.
The new session began on April 1 and even as four months have passed, the basic education department has failed to provide books and uniforms to students of state-run primary schools and junior high schools. The basic education department data reveals that 1.73 crore students are enrolled in the state. As per Right to Education (RTE), students of government schools are entitled to get free books, uniform, shoes and socks to them. However, according to the Times of India, 85 lakh are affected.
Manoj Kumar, officer-in-charge for primary textbooks said, “In the entire state, 50 per cent of the targeted textbook distribution has been completed. The remaining work will be completed within the next one month. As soon as the books are printed, they are supplied to the districts.”
Even then the officials at the Shiksha Vibhag made it clear that the process will take time, at least a month. They expected the uniforms to be ready by July which is the time when the school reopens after the summer break.
Funds Released, Students Still Await
In May, The Times of India had reported that the Uttar Pradesh government had issued and released Rs 327 crore for books and uniforms for the government school students. The order issued by the UP state project director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Ved Pati Mishra stated, “A total amount of Rs 327.16 crore has been released for the uniform of the students studying in UP government schools. While an amount of Rs 2.96 crore was released for the students studying in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, an amount of Rs 324.20 crore has been released for the students belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. The amount has been released and sent to the bank accounts of school management committees, which should purchase the cloth of the uniform, get them stitched and distribute them among the students.”
But as per the Aaj Tak latest report, the education department is unaware of any tender being released or any progress on the same.
The Logical Indian take
The deplorable situation of the UP government schools is not just limited to the unavailability of books and necessities. As per data in 2017, 15,013 schools in UP don’t even have a headmaster, 5390 staff positions are still vacant, and 1,60,000 teacher position are also vacant. It’s high time the Yogi government take responsibility for their inactions and failures and start rectifying these mistakes for the sake of providing proper education for their students.
Also published on Medium.