Centre, state govts to identify out-of-school children

Ngandam presents issues relating to MDM, SSA, RMSA in CABE meet

NEW DELHI, Jan 16: The Centre and the State governments have resolved to identify the number of out-of-school children in the country, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.
Speaking at the 65th Cabinet Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meeting here on Monday, the HRD minister said that the Centre and the state governments have resolved to launch ‘Operation Digital Board’ and also initiate a scheme to identify out-of-school children from September 2018.
Twenty-two education ministers from various states of the country were present at the meeting.
From Arunachal Pradesh, the meeting was attended by Education Minister Honchun Ngandam, Education Secretary Bidol Tayeng and CABE Member Dr Joram Begi.
Ngandam presented issues relating to the Midday Meal (MDM) programme, SSA, RMSA, infrastructure, etc, to Javadekar.
The issue of not releasing the full SSA fund approved by Project Approval Board (PAB) was strongly taken up with the Human Resource Development ministry by the education ministers of various states. They also pleaded for enhancing the unit cost of MDM and school uniforms.
During the meeting, district-wise findings of the National Achievement Survey (NAS) for classes III, V and VIII were tabled. A number of CABE sub-committee reports were also submitted.
A sub-committee on out-of-school children will submit its final report on 31 January. However, the panel recommended the need to have a standardized definition of out-of-school children, and that states should conduct joint surveys to identify such children.
“We will take the identification process to the grassroots level so that the effort does not remain on paper. Since admissions in schools continue till July-August, a scheme will be launched in September for this,” Javadekar assured.
The recommendations also included providing Aadhaar cards to all out-of-school children and introducing pre-primary education in government schools.
The sub-committee on girls’ education is likely to submit its final report next month.
Among the draft recommendations, the committee suggested residential, English medium and CBSE schools for girls on the lines of Navodaya Vidyalayas in each district; extension of midday meal support upto class XII; free education upto PG level; residential degree colleges and polytechnics for women in district headquarters; and an exclusive women university in each state.
Javadekar added that the frequency of CABE meetings would be increased with less agenda items for comprehensive discussions in the future. (With additional report from PTI)