JAIPUR: Having already taken several steps to save the girl child, Rajasthan is now working to more and more girls, especially the drop-outs, enrolled in schools. A campaign in this regard -- Apna Baccha Apna Vidyalay (ABAV) --- launched by the adminstartion in Jhujhunu district in April last year has seen tremendous response.
As per the district adminstration, the campaign has brought around 6,000 girls to government schools in the last one year --- a fact that earned it praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last Mann ki Baat address to the nation.
“The literacy rate is good in Jhunjhunu, but enrolment at government schools is lessr than that in the private schools. In less than a year, around 12,600 students have enrolled at government schools. Of this, more than 45 per cent are girls,” said district collector Pradeep Kumar Borad.
He said girl students have enrolled in all classes. Those who have enrolled were either drop-outs or switched from private to government schools.
To ensure taht the campaign was a scuccess, the ABAV was converged with multiple activities of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ and Pravesh Utsav.
For the campaign, momentum was created at panchayat, block and district levels by conducting events and workshops in collaboration with sarpanch, education department and administrative officials. Local icons, who had completed their education from government schools – were also roped in.
The enrollment at 1,600 government school in 2015-16 was 1,41,051, which, in 2016-17, increased to 1,53,649.
Borad said the ABAV campaign was carried out in phases. “Now, we are focusing on quality of education with initiatives such as toy bank. We have urged parents of students at private schools to donate old toys for distribution at anganwadis,” the district collector said.
He said beginningh January 21, ‘Bal Sabha’ is organised every Saturday at schools where children present cultural events. “We have now decided to hold them at public places for community involvement. Now, experts, professionals, officers, and elected representatives too will attend the Sabhas,” he said.
He further informed that on January 26, 1.25 lakh general knowledge books were distributed among students from classes V to XII and now an exam will be conducted based on it on June 28. “The district has given maximum soldiers to the country. From February 21, we have started defense coaching at schools. In first phase, the training has been launched at 50 schools for 2,500 interested students from classes VII to XII. Retired army men have been roped in to train teh students,” Borad said.
The administration has also started exposure visits to government offices for girl students.
District education officer Om Prakash Mudgal said the whole exercise is aimed at increasing the enrollment at government schools. “Earlier, elementary and secondary education, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, women and child development departments were working separately but now a joint effort is being made. The initiative is yeilding positive results,” he said.