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Published On:18 January 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Low enrolment in special schools for girls

KGBVs reporting less than 25 per cent enrolment from SCs, STs and Muslims is a ‘cause of concern,' says HRD Ministry

By Aarti Dhar
 
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry's ambitious Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have reported less than 25 per cent enrolment from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslim girls — the categories these schools aim to attract, prompting the Ministry to describe it as a “cause of concern.”

Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have less than 25 per cent enrolment of SC girls, while Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have less than 20 per cent ST girls in the KGBVs.
But the worst performance has been on Muslim girls' enrolment front, with less than 15 per cent studying in these schools in 11 States having a substantial Muslim population. These include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Objective

The objective of the KGBVs — run under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) — is to ensure access and quality education to such girls by opening facilities in areas with concentration of tribal population, SC and minority: in areas with low female literacy and in scattered habitations that do not qualify for a school. Seventy-five per cent of seats are reserved for SC, ST, OBC and minority girls and the remaining for girls from the below poverty line.
The Centre has sanctioned 3,598 KGBVs in the country, of which 3,379 are operational with a total enrolment of 2,84,501 girls. Many such schools are yet to become operational in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, J&K, Karnataka, and some States in the North-East.

Data accessed by The Hindu from the Ministry suggests that only Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Jharkhand have been able to utilise full seating capacity of the sanctioned KGBVs. All others have high gaps in actual and targeted enrolment.
Nagaland lags

The highest gap between actual and targeted enrolment is in Nagaland where only 200 seats are filled against the sanctioned capacity of1100, showing a gap of 82 per cent, followed by Meghalaya (80 per cent), Punjab (74 per cent) and Haryana (67 per cent). Uttar Pradesh, with a high Muslim population, has a gap of 43 per cent between the actual and targeted enrolment.

No better is the report card of the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level, where 22 States have incurred less than 65 per cent expenditure against the sanctioned outlay in 2011-12. Only Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have spent between 60 and 64 per cent of the allotted funds. J&K, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Tripura did not utilise any funds under the programme.

Vital component

This programme is focussed to reach the ‘hardest to reach' girls, especially those not in school.

The programme is an important component of the SSA, which provides additional support for enhancing girls' education over and above the investment for girls' education through normal SSA interventions.

The programme provides for development of a “model school” in every cluster with more intense community mobilisation and supervision of girls' enrolment in schools. Development of gender-sensitive learning materials such as life skill education to enable skills and capabilities for coping with difficult situation in life, educational tours, exposure visits to enhance their knowledge, self-confidence, vocational training and provision for need-based incentives such as stationery, workbooks and uniforms are some of the provisions under the programme.

The scheme is being implemented in educationally backward blocks (EBBs) where the level of rural female literacy is less than the national average and the gender gap is above the national average.

About 3,297 EBBs are covered under the scheme in 23 States and around 40,623 model schools opened.

Under 15% of Muslim girls have enrolled in States where Muslims are in a majority
In Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, J&K, the schools are yet to function.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

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