Shala Praveshotsav | Over 2 lakh students enrolled on Day 1: Education Minister

More than two lakh students were enrolled in government primary schools across the state on Day 1 of Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, said Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani Thursday. The number is in addition to more than 84,000 children–43,748 boys and 40,988 girls–who were enrolled in various Anganwadi centres.

A total of 19,182 officers visited 10,600 schools across 8,132 villages on the first day of the enrollment drive, stated the state government in an official release.

“Nearly 10,000 schools were covered on Day One by 3,500 officials. A similar number would be covered on days two and three. With each official covering three schools, the plan is to cover the entire 32,000 by the end of three days,” said a senior education official.

A total of 2,00,399 children were enrolled in Class 1, Vaghani stated in a release. As per the information shared by him, 1,01,606 boys and 98,793 girls were enrolled in Class 1. Also, 657 children–409 boys and 248 girls–who are physically challenged were also enrolled.

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The development of education this government has been able to achieve is the difference between the concept of education 20 years ago and today, the education minister said during his visits to Aasjol, Ruppura and Rantej schools in Becharaji taluka of Mehsana district. “Can you imagine an entire village gathering at the school to welcome Class 1 students 20 years back,” he said.

Through Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, where the schools have been able to connect with the society, the government looks to bring radical changes in the society via education, the minister added.

Gujarat has taken the lead in the country with the state government setting aside Rs 500 crore to promote student innovation and ideas under the Student Startup and Innovation Policy 2.0, he emphasised during his visits.

“The government has taken special care to provide basic and infrastructural facilities in the villages. In the past 20 years, there have been many radical changes in the development of the state. The government is working hard to keep the villages of the state alive” the minister said highlighting schemes such as Sujalam Sufalam for farmers and Ayushyaman Bharat Card for the health security of the residents of the state. “Further, up-gradation of 20,000 schools from the School of Excellence is being done at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore,” he said.

The minister stated that Rs 87.93 lakh was donated and items worth Rs 8.97 crore were received through community participation and donation. Thus, total financial support of Rs 9.85 crore was received from the society.

He also added that 141 new classrooms, constructed at a cost of Rs 8.46 crore, were inaugurated on the first day and transport facilities have been started in 823 schools across the state.

This year, the state government has gone ahead and compared the numbers with that of 1990-91 when it claimed the drop-out rate was 64.48 per cent compared to the 3.7 per cent in 2020-21. The gross enrolment ratio, which was 95.65 in 2004-05, has increased to 99.02 in 2020-21.

The government has claimed it has achieved over 99 per cent enrollment since 2015-16 and attributed this to schemes like Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani Mahotsav. This year, the state government expects to achieve the 100 per cent enrollment target as it is being verified with the birth records in the Civil Registration System (CRS) records.

The drive, where ministers, IAS, IPS, IFS and Class I officers visit government primary schools across the state, was launched in 2003 by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to achieve 100 per cent student enrolment and to promote girls’ education.

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