Poverty should not deprive a child of quality education, says CM

Launches Vidya Kanuka scheme covering 42,3400 children in government schools.

Poverty should not prevent children from economically weaker sections from pursuing quality education. This is primarily the reason why the government decided to change the face of government schools through a series of programmes that will take care of every aspect of a child’s growing years, said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Speaking at a meeting in connection with the launch of Jagananna Vidya Kanuka at Punadipadu village under Kankipadu mandal in Krishna district, under which school kits were distributed to students, Mr. Jagan said he wanted the children to know that they would get the best of every opportunity as their ‘maama’ (mother’s brother) was the Chief Minister now.

He said 42,3400 children of classes 1 to 10 in government schools would receive the kits that had cost around ₹ 650 crore in phases in the next three phases, to avoid crowd due to the prevailing pandemic. The kits include three pairs of uniform cloth along with stitching charges, textbooks, notebooks, a pair of shoes, two pairs of socks, a belt and a school bag.

Quoting Nobel Prize laureate and activist for girl education from Pakistan Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela, he said the government realised the need for comprehensive changes in the education sector to enable the children here to compete with the world.

The fact that even after 73 years of Independence, 34 % people in the state were not literate, spoke volumes about the former governments’ priorities. The erstwhile government never seemed to have realised why such a large number of children were dropping out of schools, he said, adding that prompted his government to usher in revolutionary changes, from the anganwadi centres to the institutes of higher education.

Referring to Mana Badi-Nadu Nadu, he said schools were given a facelift and schools were now equipped with proper toilets with water facility, fans and tubelights in classrooms, green boards and good furniture besides construction of compound walls, new kitchens and painting the buildings in vibrant colours.

Mr. Jagan listed other major schemes like Amma Vodi under which an annual financial assistance of ₹ 15,000 was deposited in the bank account of women who sent their children to government school. “Nearly 43 lakh women and 82 lakh students have benefited from it,” he said, informing that the second phase of programme would be launched on January 9.

A nutritious diet was being given to pregnant women and neonatal mothers under Sampoorna Poshanam and funds to the tune of ₹ 1,800 crore had been allocated for the purpose. Anganwadi centres would turn into educational hubs as they were being transformed into YSR pre-primary schools.

Speaking about the Mid-Day-Meal scheme which was now christened as Jagananna Goru Mudda, he said like no other Chief Minister had ever done, he had taken personal care in deciding the daily menu to ensure that the children were served nutritious food.

Complete fee reimbursement under Vidya Deevena and Vasathi Deevena programmes were aimed at helping economically backward students pursue their higher studies without any stress.

Education Minister A. Suresh said children were eager to attend school and enjoy the new facilities. Ministers Peddireey Ramachandra Reddy, Perni Venkataramaiah, Kodali Venkateswara Rao and Vellampalli Srinivas, MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Chairpersons of the Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commissions and officials of the School Education departments were present.

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