Good education just not the right of a few people, says Sonia Gandhi

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New Delhi, Sep.8 (ANI): Expressing concern at the high percentage of students leaving schools soon after taking admissions, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said good education was not just the right of certain people.

Speaking while inaugurating 31Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), on the occasion of International Literacy Day here on Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi also sought to draw everyone's attention towards low attendance of teachers at government schools in rural areas.

"We should also think that why the rest of the government schools are not as good as the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya. In the villages, nearly one fourth of the teachers do not go to the schools. The percentage of students who leave the schools soon after their admission is still very high," said Gandhi.

She said access to quality education couldn't be a privilege of just a few.

"Good education is just not the right for certain people; everybody has equal right to it. We should learn from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, and this kind of education should be provided in other government schools also," she said.

Mrs. Gandhi, on this occasion, congratulated the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, and also stated that this should also be an occasion for them to make plans and take a pledge for the future.

She also underlined that education provided to children must be in accordance with the changes happening in the world especially with regard to new technology and new techniques.

She stated that the government is giving scholarships for school students, the information regarding which must reach all. She added that other government schools must learn from JNVs.

These recently constructed buildings of JNVs are in States across the country, in Kerala, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Kapil Sibal, stated that the late Rajiv Gandhi considered providing quality education for deprived children his foremost duty. "It was in this context that the government decided to open a JNV in every district of the country as part of the National Policy on Education, 1986."

Today there are 593 JNVs in the country in which 2 lakh children are studying, he added.

Special Navodya Vidyalayas are proposed to be opened to encourage children showing aptitude in sports, culture and in vocational streams, the Union Minister Sibal informed.

Sibal pointed out that already Navodaya Vidyalayas are considered at par with the better schools of the country and alumni of these schools are excelling in professions.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are fully residential co-educational institutions providing educating from Class VI to XII and affiliated to CBSE. At least 75 per cent seats in a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya are filled by candidates from rural areas. Reservation of seats for children belonging to SCs and STs is provided in proportion to their population in the concerned district. One third of total seats are filled by girls.

Out of over two lakh students in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, 77.84 per cent are from rural areas, 36.67 per cent are girls and 41.61 per cent belong to SC/ST categories. (ANI)

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