Children of 574 schools of social welfare department yet to get free uniforms
Over 60,000 students enrolled in 574 schools run by UP social welfare department have not received free school uniforms that they are entitled to till date. This is owing to the failure of the state government to release budget for the same, teachers of these schools concede.
They share that the students of these schools, that offer education from class 1 to class 5, faced hardships last year also when the state government had released just 50% of the needed budget for distribution of uniforms.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Prayagraj, Sanjay Kumar Kushwaha admitted that the students of these schools had not received the free school uniforms. He said the budget had not been released by the state government as yet. Kushwaha said the uniforms would be distributed as soon as the budget came.
“Practically it is impossible to distribute free school uniforms to some students in a school and leave the rest out. So last year, we made up for the funds shortage by taking the uniforms against promise of making the payments this year. However with no budget, we are not only drawing flak for parents and kids of our schools but also facing pressure from those we took uniforms last year without making any payments,” shared a harried teacher of one of the affected schools.
District president of Sahayta Prapt Ashaskiya Shikshak Sangh Chedilal Kushwaha claimed that many parents suspected that teachers had usurped the funds meant for the free uniforms this year.
“The government needs to take immediate action and release the budget which has already got much delayed,” he said.
In Prayagraj alone, there are 30 such schools and have 3503 students enrolled in them. In 574 schools spread across 75 districts of UP, there are over 60,000. Most of these schools have kids from economically weaker section including a large number of those belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes.
Teachers claim that for these kids the free uniform, shoes and socks are big things and the failure to distribute the same is slowly also resulting in students starting to drop out.
The situation is all the more sad as from this year the budget of a school uniform has been hiked from Rs 200 to Rs 300 and these schools should have received the budget as per the hiked norms, officials say.