The first batch of ‘Signal Schools’ run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) saw 139 children enrol in the presence of Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Saturday.
‘Signal Schools’ is an AMC-funded project that aims to convert public buses into mobile schools for out-of-school-children at traffic signals across the city.
Chief Justice Aravind Kumar said the idea to start such schools came to him while he was stuck at a traffic junction in Karnataka.
“Let me share with you as to how this idea of Signal Schools came to me… while I was the judge of the Karnataka High Court. One day, while coming to the court, my vehicle was stopped at the signal. I saw a small girl with a baby in her hand. She came begging before me…I wanted to give some money. Suddenly, I remembered that there is an act that prohibits children from begging,” said CJ Kumar
“I called the parents and asked why you are not sending your child to school. He said they do not have money…I called a meeting of chief secretary, principal secretary, social welfare department and director of municipal administration and municipal commissioner… When we interacted with the parents, they agreed that if the school is conducted at signals (where the parents work), they will send the children. So this concept made me to start signal schools ,” he further said.
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Kumar said the signal schools were started to facilitate children of labourers working at key traffic junctions.
“After a few months, I was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. When I shared this idea with the chief minister, he readily agreed and we started this programme on March 6, 2022, by insulating signal schools in Ahmedabad,” he said at the formal event.
CM Patel said signal schools will be started across Gujarat in places that require such facilities. Talking about the improvement in the state’s education system during the last two decades, Patel said dropout ratio in the state have successfully reduced from 37.22 per cent to 3.39 per cent.
The duo also distributed school kits to children at the event held at Bodakdev.
Patel said Saturday was the third day of “Shala Praveshotsav”. “I have enrolment figures for the last two days, where a total of 1.88 lakh girl children have been enrolled in schools. In these two days, the total enrolment is 3.83 lakh,” he added.