To address the issue of non-availability of educational resources among students belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes, the government of the state of Kerala has launched the first phase of a model project.
The CM of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan launched the first phase of a model project. It has been noted by the state that despite several welfare schemes directed at the welfare of the marginalized communities, the students belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes face scarcity of resources that limits their educational opportunities.
Under the model project, the state will provide financial assistance of Rs. 2 lakhs for setting up a study room beside their house. The state will further supply computers and other necessary material once the basic infrastructure of the study room is ready.
“Today marks the inauguration of the completion of 12,250 study rooms across the state. An additional 3,750 study rooms will be completed this year. In addition, 8,500 study rooms will be created by 2021. This would be a model project for the entire country,” Mr Vijayan said.
Besides the family study rooms, community study rooms are also being set up for students belonging to scheduled tribes. Under this drive, 250 community study rooms have already been set up by converting public facilities for such use. It is reported that one such community study room can accommodate 30 students at any given time. The target is to set up 500 such public study rooms.
It has been noted by observers that the students from the Scheduled Castes, especially in class 5to 8 bracket, do not get adequate education aid. Currently, there are few schemes that provide around an annual assistance of Rs. 2000 for every student from the marginalized communities. The number of beneficiaries is limited though, around 1, 20000.
The CM also stated that the lump-sum grant meant for the SC and ST students have been increased by 50 percent and the SC students who have completed their +2 are being provided free preparatory coaching for the medical and engineering entrance examinations. The number of beneficiaries of such coaching classes is 1000.
In addition to these welfare measures, 44 Industrial Training Institutes are also being modernized. This program of ITI modernization is being undertaken by the Scheduled Caste Development Department of the state. Under the program, 15 ITIs have got new blocks constructed. Besides this, the institutes are also facilitating students by providing them breakfast and lunch.
Additionally, the state has also issued an order to the effect that the SC students enrolled in postgraduate programs in certain universities abroad may receive grants up to 25 lakhs. Besides this, the state is also providing free training to students from SC and ST communities in Kerala’s Civil Services Academy.
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