Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

Population criteria for new Eklavya schools ‘impractical’: Parliamentary Panel

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Eklavya Model School

Mains level : Not Much

A Parliamentary panel has refuted that 20,000 ST people, who make up at least 50% of the total population criteria is “impractical” to build new Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS).

What are Eklavya Schools?

  • EMRS started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) children in remote areas in order.
  • It aims to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional educational courses and get employment in various sectors.
  • The schools focus not only on academic education but on the all-round development of the students.
  • Each school has a capacity of 480 students, catering to students from Class VI to XII.
  • Hitherto, grants were given for construction of schools and recurring expenses to the State Governments under Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Eklavya schools are on par with Navodaya Vidyalaya and have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

Features of Eklavya Schools

  • Admission to these schools will be through selection/competition with suitable provision for preference to children belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups, first-generation students, etc.
  • Sufficient land would be given by the State Government for the school, playgrounds, hostels, residential quarters, etc., free of cost.
  • The number of seats for boys and girls will be equal.
  • In these schools, education will be entirely free.

What is the population-based criteria?

  • The Tribal Affairs Ministry plans to build EMRS on 15 acres of land in all sub-districts which have ST communities of more than 20,000 people, who make up at least 50% of their total population.
  • Wherever density of ST population is higher in identified Sub-Districts (90% or more), it is proposed to set up Eklavya Model Day Boarding School (EMDBS) on an experimental basis.

Issues with this criteria

  • There are difficulties in identifying and acquiring lands in several tribal districts.
  • Especially in forested or hilly areas, a contiguous 15-acre plot is hard to find.
  • This criterion would also deprive scattered ST populations of the benefit of the Eklavya schools.
  • For most of the places for EMRSs, there is no land available inside the village or the block.

 

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