Three Rs in Ra­jasthan

CM Raje’s push to im­prove state-run schools shows re­sults

India Today - - STATES - By Ro­hit Par­i­har

Chief Min­is­ter Va­sund­hara Raje be­lieves the need to change schools at three lev­els was a key rea­son for poor learn­ing lev­els and the high dropout rate in Ra­jasthan’s state schools. A new in­te­gra­tion sys­tem, which in­volves mov­ing nurs­ery classes from an­gan­wadi cen­tres to se­nior se­condary schools, hopes to re­solve the is­sue. “Our aim is to have at least one school of­fer­ing classes from I to XII in all 13,200 pan­chay­ats, with full strength of teach­ers, stu­dents and in­fras­truc­ture,” says Raje.

For Ra­jasthan, which has been among the worst per­form­ers in school ed­u­ca­tion, it’s a rad­i­cal move. Some 10,000 ju­nior and mid­dle schools have al­ready been merged with se­nior se­condary schools. Naresh Gang­war, sec­re­tary for school ed­u­ca­tion, says the ‘in­te­gra­tion’ has also per­mit­ted a more ef­fi­cient de­ploy­ment of re­sources (teach­ers). Also, by do­ing away with an ar­chaic rule, 40 per cent of school prin­ci­pals in Ra­jasthan to­day are women. Ed­u­ca­tion­ists Ur­vashi Sahni, Arun Kapoor and Gowry Ish­waran are now part of a sub-com­mit­tee on school ed­u­ca­tion. The ef­forts are show­ing re­sults: the 11th An­nual Sta­tus of Ed­u­ca­tion Re­port says pub­lic school en­rol­ment has risen to 56 per cent (of to­tal school en­rol­ment in the state), up from 52 per cent in 2014.

ALL IN ONE The Ra­jkiya Adarsh Uch Mad­hyamik Vidyalaya in vil­lage Jher, Jaipur

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