Model school to start functioning in each block from next year

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (UNI) In what would be a major step forward to make quality education more accessible, one model school will start functioning in each block of the country from the next financial year.

The school would follow all the parametres of the central schools, Secretary, School Education, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development Mr A K Rath told reporters at the Editors Conference on Social Sector here today.

Mr Rath said that half of the 6000 model schools would be established on a public-private partnership(PPP). The private educational institutions of the area would be encouraged to set up such schools and the government would facilitate their efforts, he said.

''The scheme was being developed and discussion was on with departments concerned, and most likely it would be put into public domain within a month,'' he said.

Mr Rath said quality was the moto of the education department and to ensure it, about 45 to 50 per cent of the allocation for education in the 11th Plan would be spent on it. The establisahment of the model school was part of the effort, he added.

He said that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) has enabled the government to improve education access to 98 per cent at primary level and also reduce out of school children to three to four per cent from six to 14 age-group.

In fact SSA improved the enrolment by 25 million between 2001 to 2005, he added.

Mr Rath said that 2180 KGBV had been sanctioned in Educationally Backward Blocks so far, and 410 more will be set up in areas uncovered so far.

Replying to a question on the Mid-Day Meal scheme, he said since October 2007 the scheme had been enlarged to include upper primary schools, in backward blocks, which would cover additional 1.7 crore children, and from 2008-09 onwards the scheme would be extended to all government-aided schools.

He said the Government was also proposing to introduce a National Means-cum Merit Scholarship Scheme to arrest the dropout ratio and encourage students to continue their education beyond class VII.

The Ministry was laying special focus on addressing equity by providing incentives for girls and students belonging to Scheduled Castes , Scheduled Tribes and the minorities.

''Computer aided education both at the elementary and secondary level was also our focus,'' he said.


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