Mizoram SSA succeeds in bringing smiles to the faces of children

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Aizawl, Feb 24 (UNI) The national flagship programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has contributed a lot towards making Mizoram one of the topmost states in the country in the education scenario, state government officials said here today.

''The SSA Mission has really brought about a paradigm shift in the field of primary education. It has helped us achieve the top slot. We have almost achieved total enrollment in primary education,'' state Education Minister Dr R Lalthangliana said.

Officials have attributed the success of the SSA in Mizoram to the participatory mode with which the programme has been implemented.

''Village councils and local-based NGOs participate in the programme which in return has given them the feeling of ownership.

We can proudly say that the government schools have now gone back to the public,'' SSA Mizoram officer on special duty Robert Romawia Royte told UNI here today.

However, even though every village in the state now had a primary school and village education committee to watch over it, the Mizoram SSA has reached a deadlock in its mission to universalise elementary education in the entire state.

''About 2,000 children are believed to be still out of schools.

They are from the residual or the hardcore groups. They belong to the nomadic families of Chakmas along the Indo-Bangla border, migrants and religious sects who do not allow their children to study,'' the Mr Royte said.

However, the SSA will leave no stone unturned to give education to even this group of children, he asserted.

One of the strategies were mobile schools meant for children of the nomadic Chakma families, are living in remote jungles.

''Sometimes we mobilised the NREGS, the 100 days' employment, to lure the parents to send their children to the mobile schools,'' SSA co-ordinator Irene Lalruatkimi said.

Education volunteers and remedial teachers were being engaged to carry out the task.

Besides formal education, the SSA Mission has instilled the spirit of sports in the minds of children. Under the 'innovative programme', it has set up as many as 153 sports academies for various sports disciplines across the state.

''The achievement of our sports academies are quite encouraging.

Our academies' students have brought home a good number of national and regional level medals in judo, taekwondo, boxing and football,'' Hmingsanga, an instructor at the SSA sports academy said.

Recently, the Mizoram SSA signed a memorandum with US-based International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS) to introduce 'Game On! Youth Sports' to become the first Indian state to join the global sports promotion programme.

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