Special drive for dropouts gains popularity in state

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan's special Rs 3-crore scheme hopes to benefit around 40,000 children from civic, government aided schools in the state

After setting up training centres with an aim to integrate mentally and physically challenged children on the premises of state-run schools, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a national flagship program for ensuring children's basic education, has now introduced a special scheme for the dropout or those who have never been to school.

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The central government has already granted a budget of more than Rs 3 crore to the SSA for the project.
In a bid to bring dropouts and regular school-going children at par, the SSA, under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, has planned to conduct special classes called the Special Training Scheme (STS) to encourage children to continue their studies.

Gaining momentum
To begin with, the scheme has been initiated across some civic-run schools in the city and its picking up pace.
The scheme aims to benefit more than 40,000 students from all civic, government-aided schools in the state. It plans to reach out to more than 5,000 students from civic-run schools in the city.

According to an SSA official, the organisation has set up different categories under which education will be provided. The first category includes children who have never been to school, the second will focus on children who have completed one or two years of schooling. And the last category includes those who have shifted base from one place to another.

In this scheme, the officials are planning to set up separate batches in the schools. And they have also made arrangements for conducting counselling sessions of such students and teachers. "Under the STS scheme, the students will be made to follow a special syllabus prepared by State Council For Education and Training, Pune, and the classes will be conducted by trained teachers in the same schools," another senior official said.

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