The Telegraph
Saturday , July 5 , 2014
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Model schools from January
- Project overcomes land hiccups

Jorhat, July 4: The ambitious model school project, conceived during the second tenure of the UPA government, will start functioning in Assam from January next year having overcome land hiccups.

The Union ministry of human resources will fund 70 per cent of the project while the state government’s share is 30 per cent. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan is its nodal agency.

The project aims to improve the quality of education imparted to children in the rural areas at the elementary and secondary level. It aims to remove gender, socio-economic and disability barriers by providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017. The model schools will have Classes I to XII.

In 2009, the Centre had announced setting up of 6,000 model schools, having quality infrastructure and academic facilities, in educationally backward blocks of India at a cost of Rs 12,750 crore. In Assam, 81 such schools were to be established. The project, however, got delayed because of non-availability of land for setting up the schools.

The director of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Assam, Ramesh Chand Jain told The Telegraph that buildings have been completed in 14 blocks, identified as educationally backward, of 10 districts. Other necessary infrastructure will be completed within the next few months and the schools will start functioning from January. The appointment of principals and, thereafter, of teaching and non-teaching staff are expected to be complete by September this year.

The 14 blocks are Lowairpoa (Karimganj), Barkhetri (Nalbari), Chenga (Barpeta), Mandia (Barpeta), Paka Betbari (Barpeta), Rupsi (Barpeta), Barpeta (Barpeta), Batadrava (Nagaon), Matia (Goalpara), Chamaria (Kamrup), Amri (Karbi Anglong), Moirabari (Morigaon), South Hailakandi (Hailakandi) and Pachim Abhaypur (Sivasagar).

In another 50 blocks, school buildings are under construction and are scheduled to be complete by the middle of next year so that they can start functioning from January 2016. The remaining 17 schools are expected to start functioning by January 2017.

Jain said the cost of constructing each school is Rs 3.62 crore.

Education will be free from Classes I to VIII. A nominal fee might be charged for Classes IX to XII but the government is yet to take a final decision in this regard. The medium of such schools will be English and Assamese. The course curriculum would be SEBA, which may be converted to CBSE in future.

Jain said the nomenclature reflects the project’s objective of making such schools models in terms of infrastructure, curriculum, evaluation and school governance.

He said a society would be formed in due course of time but at present the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan would look after the affairs of the model schools.