The Kanya Kelavani is the move in the right direction for ‘Education for All.’ A flagship program of the Government entered the ninth year encouraging formal education with special focus on the girls, amidst celebratory claims of 0% dropout rates being attained in several districts in Gujarat.
The journey that began a decade ago shows signs of success with more and more enrolment in schools around the state, and a marked increase in literacy
Hon’ble Chief Minister Narendra Modi led Team Gujarat - the entire Council of Ministers, Member of Parliaments and all Secretaries, besides other officers and people's representatives joined in the campaign to bring a change. Team Gujarat that headed out in different directions, carried the message of education, trying to convince the parents to put their child in school and ensuring they stay there, as the Government aims to increase an all round stature of living across the state.
Team Gujarat’s campaign in 2011 covered 32,772 primary schools in all the 18,000 villages, 151 municipalities and eight municipal corporations during the 9th Kanya Kelavani Yatra (Girls' Education) and Shala Praveshotsav Abhiyan (School Enrolment Movement) The movement was held in two phases in rural and Urban Gujarat. 16th, 17th and 18th June, the campaign covered rural Gujarat, and repeating the exercise in it’s urban leg 23rd, 24th and 25th of the same month.
The change isn’t a miracle but since 2003, the state machinery has worked tirelessly to put in place schemes and trusts to cover all basics needed to bring in much needed behavioral change to alter the life cycle of citizens around the state. All public officials, including the government's highest-ranking officials visited pre-assigned territories, covering schools, in what has now become a customary exercise in the calendar.
A comparative study of the Census 2001 and 2011 shows a 13 per cent rise in the girls' literacy rate and 29.77 per cent decrease in schools dropout ratio. The dropout rate in primary schools is now just two per cent. The Chief Minister's concern is how to bridge even this two per cent gap.
Emphasis on the education of girl children led to the formation of the Vidyalaxmi scheme which is introduced during the last few years in villages with female literacy rate less than 35% and in urban areas for girls belonging to below-poverty-line families. Aimed at a higher retention rate among students, a bond is issued when the girl child enters either class 1 or 8.When the child graduates, in class 7, or class 12, the bond is en-cashed with interest.
In 2001 campaign, the government distributed ‘Vidyalakshmi Bond' of Rs.1,000 to each of the 11-lakh poor girl students from a Rs.11-crore fund. There are other schemes to encourage bright girl students. The Chief Minister's Kanya Kelavani Nidhi has so far received Rs.44-crore for spreading girls' education from individuals and institutions, and by raising money through auctioning of gifts received by the Chief Minister.
Joy of Education :
Dropout rate in classes 1 – 5 reduced to 2.09% in 2010-11 as compared to 20.93% in 2000-01
The reason behind the success of the twin initiative of Kanya Kelavani and Shala Praveshotsav is attributed to more concrete steps towards achievement.
Facilities provided to primary schools:
1,21,358 vidhya sahayak recruitedOut of 1,21,358 Vidhya Sahayak recruits, it includes 10,000 Mathematics, Science and English teaching assistants for Standard VIII in 5,000 schools through transparent recruitment last academic year, and another 13,000 being recruited in 6,500 schools this year.
75,748 classrooms built
50,914 sanitation units built
21,088 science laboratories
4,53,409 wooden benches for the students of class 5, 6,7
13,560 schools provided with computers
32,772 schools connected to power supply
32,772 schools provided with potable water
“Education is the only tool to fight against poverty and helplessness and diseases. Villages should reach to a position where the educated children of the villages make the uneducated elders literate persons”, says Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The vision foresees a Change – a change in the right direction.
With almost a decade behind it, the Kanya Kelavani and Shala Pravesh Mahotsav are among the most popular and successful schemes of the government.
Education is power and the government is all set to transform the villages to illuminate with knowledge – information and awareness to bring a change in socio-economic drawbacks. The onus of its continuous success now rests equally on those at home to share the expectation of educating the entire state, as it does on the government to continue performing at the mark that it has set for itself. With a report card like this, the state's efforts towards 100% literacy are set to yield excellent results for years to come.