Even as the current academic session enters its fag end, the education department is still distributing uniforms to the students of government schools in the district.
The academic session starts in April every year. On Tuesday (November 25), the district education department distributed 83,500 uniforms to the students of Class 1 to 8.
Rs 4.75 crore grant was released to government schools in the district and uniforms were given to 83,500 students, including 41,784 girls, the department informed.
As per the block-wise distribution, 6,155 students from east block-I, 3,642 from east block-II, 6,824 from east block-III, 4,019 from east block-IV, 3,440 from west block-I, 3,626 from west II, 5,492 from Adampur, 3,828 from Alawalpur, 4,907 from Goraya-I, 1,704 from Goraya-II, 4,530 from Shahkot, 7,914 from Phillaur, 5,742 from Nurmahal, 6,210 from Nakodar, 4,821 from Nakodar-II, 2,410 from Lohian Khaas, 4,771 from Bhogpur and 3,465 students from Kartarpur have been distributed uniforms so far.
Ideally, the uniforms should reach students by the mid June. In September, HT had reported that several students had not received uniforms due to delay in the formation of school management committees (SMCs).
An education department official said the students had uniforms of the last session. Kamla, mother of a Class 5 student, said the quality of uniforms is so poor that it gets torn within two months.
An amount of Rs 400 is spent on each uniform for government school students every academic year.
Another education department official on the condition of anonymity said though the grant was disbursed to the district department in June and delay in distribution of uniforms was due to non- formation of new school management committees as mandated by the education department in time.
The school-level committees comprise the school head, teachers and parents who will be responsible for providing uniforms to students.
“We have been asked to complete the distribution of uniforms till March 31. We have already distributed more than 90,000 uniforms. We have got grant for 1.18 lakh students. Last year, we got the grant in October and therefore we are doing better this time,” Vishal Mahajan, assistant project coordinator, Sarv Shiksha Abjhiyan, said.
Teachers at various government schools also expressed concern over the fact that Rs 400 is not sufficient to ensure quality uniform.
Many of them said the government has been allocating Rs 400 per student for a set of uniform for the past six years. The uniform set includes a jersey, a pair of trousers, one shirt, a pair of shoes, a pair of socks and a cap for boys and a dupatta for girls.
“It is difficult to buy the complete uniform set with Rs 400. All these items need at least Rs 800. We have to collect funds to complete the uniform from NGOs and NRIs,” said a teacher.
District education officer (primary) Jaspal Singh was not available for comments.