Tue, 07 Dec 2021

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], November 25 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday launched the UT government's ambitious project of transforming 200 schools into smart schools in tribal areas at a cost of Rs 40 crores.

The modernization of smart schools will be executed in two phases. In the first phase, works related to 100 schools will be completed by March 2022 and in the second, another 100 schools by December 2022.

The LG announced the major decision of the government to provide scholarships to 21,000 children of the Gaddi, Sippi, Dard, Sheena communities who were deprived of the same for the last 3 decades.

"In 1991, the Gaddi, Sippi community was declared tribal but their children were denied a scholarship. For three decades they kept approaching governments but no decision was taken," Sinha said.

"This issue was brought to my notice just a few days back and we immediately decided that scholarships will be provided to them," he added.

The LG congratulated the tribal communities and the concerned administrative departments for the historic beginning of the new era of educational empowerment of tribals in J-K.

"Our priority is to secure the future of tribal children. Smart schools in tribal and remote areas equipped with modern facilities will develop scientific temper in children and make them future-ready, besides arresting the drop-out rate," Sinha said.

The LG observed that the UT government has formulated a visionary framework for the functioning of smart schools. Members of the tribal communities, PRI representatives, and the people associated with voluntary organizations will be involved in the management so that these schools could perform the role of 'changemakers' in our society.

"Lives are changed when people connect. Life is changed when everything is connected. Tribal education plan, scholarships, smart schools will do justice to tribal communities in J-K who were neglected for decades", Sinha said.

He further highlighted that the J-K administration is collectively spending around Rs 104 crore to strengthen school infrastructure in tribal areas and establish a strong educational ecosystem for the tribal community.

"We are also spending Rs 8.50 crore on the modernization of hostels of the Tribal Department and Rs 4 crore will be given for the new hostels being built," the LG said.

In July, the UT administration had decided that two Eklavya Model Schools would be opened in Rajouri, one each in Anantnag, Poonch, Kulgam and Bandipora and Rs 21.25 crore is being given for this. Apart from this, Rs 30 crore is being given for scholarship, he added.

By developing better infrastructure, and through training and capacity building programs for teachers and students especially in tribal areas, I am certain that we will address the issues of Gross Enrollment Ratio and drop-out rate, the LG said.

It is our moral responsibility to provide the best opportunities and means to make our children educated and skilled, he added.

Farooq Khan, Advisor to the LG while addressing the gathering, congratulated the School Education Department and the members of Tribal Communities on the launch of smart schools.

He also highlighted several activities being undertaken in various sectors including education, health and others for the socio-economic development of the tribal population.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, termed the launch of transformation of smart schools for tribal children as a great step and impressed upon the teachers for adopting innovative methods to kindle the spark of curiosity among children.

He also stressed making a complete database of tribal children, besides the sustained capacity building of teachers. (ANI)

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