MP: How this govt coaching centre in Jhabua helps tribal children achieve the JEE dream
While 55 tribal and scheduled caste students from tribal-dominated Jhabua district managed to qualify for the JEE (Advanced) examination this year, as many as 20 made it from Alirajpur.Updated: Apr 28, 2017 16:25 IST
Until a few years ago, young Shaitan Katara’s biggest dream was to purchase a smartphone for playing mobile games. The ambitions of this tribal teen from Naharpur village in Jhabua district have grown loftier since then.
Now nineteen, Katara wants to become somebody like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He took the first step towards his goal by clearing the JEE (Mains) on Thursday.
While 55 tribal and scheduled caste students from tribal-dominated Jhabua district managed to qualify for the JEE (Advanced) examination this year, as many as 20 made it from Alirajpur. The results of the JEE (Mains) were declared on Thursday.
So far, 147 tribal and scheduled caste students from both these districts have cleared the JEE (Mains) with the help of free coaching classes at a government girls’ school in Jhabua.
While only 11 students from Jhabua cleared the JEE (Mains) in 2015, when the coaching centre was started, 38 made it in 2016. This is the first time over 50 students from Jhabua qualified in the examination.
Created on the lines of the Super 30 in Bihar, this coaching centre established by the Jhabua district administration provides free books meant for board examinations as well as competitive tests to students. After 15-200 students are identified for the purpose, school authorities hold classes for them thrice a week. Retired engineers and IITians from different parts of the country provide academic guidance through video-conferencing.
Ashish Verma, a successful candidate from Jhabua, claimed the science and mathematics courses he took at the coaching centre have helped him scale heights that once seemed impossible. “Today, I achieved success that I never dreamt of. My father is an electrician, and it was impossible for him to send me to an expensive coaching centre to prepare for the competitive examination,” he said.
Saurabh Amliyaar, the son of a farmer, is the first literate person in his family. “My thinking was limited to farming, but now I plan to invent new farming equipment,” he said.
Zila parishad chief executive officer (CEO) Anurag Chaudhary said the coaching classes are becoming more successful with each passing year. “The basic objective of running the centre was to bring SC/ST students into the mainstream, and infuse enough confidence in them to become IITians,” he added.
Explaining how the district administration caters to the needs of the students, Chaudhary said, “The students hail from various government schools. Through the year, they attended coaching classes thrice a week in Jhabua. However, two months before the exam, they were shifted to a residential hostel for SC/ST students.”
Jhabua collector Ashish Saxena, for his part, credited the hard work put in by the students and teachers for the coaching centre’s success. “Now we will send them students to Indore for JEE (Advanced) coaching. This way, they can be admitted to the best engineering colleges in India,” Saxena added.
Improvement in performance
Due to the poor literacy rate* in Jhabua (46.3%) and Alirajpur (36.1%) and lack of awareness, few students used to opt for the science stream in Class 11. While just 50 students were enrolled when the scheme was initiated in 2015, the number has now gone up to 200. “Even the number of student registrations in the science stream has increased by 500% in both districts,” said Anurag Chaudhary, an IIT graduate who later became an IAS officer.
*According to the 2011 census
First Published: Apr 28, 2017 16:24 IST