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Mumbai: The government will undertake a state-wide drive for enrolling kids in school with a special focus on girls.
Invitation letters asking girls to attend the first day at school will be hand-delivered to families of 74.87 lakh girls already enrolled with the school education department. “The schools reopen shortly. We hope to see you there on the first day. The school premises have been cleaned and beautified to welcome you. We are sure you will enjoy the experience. There is no need to be afraid about making mistakes while learning, as these will be corrected based on your likes,” the invitation letter reads.
V Radha, project director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), said the idea was to uplift the experience and enhance community’s commitment towards girl’s education. The letters will be delivered by volunteers of the Meena Manch, set up to encourage education among girls. The state has also decided to involve elected representatives and senior state officials. Rajendra Darda, minister, school education, said MPs, MLAs, mayors and corporators, among others, will be requested to visit families of at least five such girls and encourage their parents to enroll them.
Radha said that chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad had already issued similar directives for officials in the state government.
Lack of adequate drinking water and sanitation facilities are often been cited as a reason for the high drop-out rates. Radha said schools had been asked to upgrade the facilities within six months. Invitation letters will also be issued for parents of children with special needs. Faujiya Khan, minister of state, school education, said, that the department planned to the increase accountability and quality of education and make it more need-based.
State’s sorry performance
M aharashtra related to access ranks and 13th quality in the country of education on parameters . Access to education for girls has dropped and the gender gap has risen in the last few years. The boys to girls enrollment ratio for primary schools was 5.65 in 2008-09, it rose to 5.82 in 2009-10. The ratio in upper primary schools rose from 5.91 in 2008-09 to 6.28 in 2009-10. The gender gap is worrying in at least 43 regions, many among which are in the Marathwada belt.