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Impact of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan dismal in J and K

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar, Oct 29, 2012, DHNS: 0:27 IST

Only 43 per cent work done under Centre’s education plan

Despite liberal funding from the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir government has miserably failed to set up infrastructure in educational sector under Centre-sponsored programme — Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Official documents reveal that a meagre 43 per cent of work has been completed under the Centre’s flagship scheme since its inception in 2002-03.

According to documents, of targeted 10,178 primary school buildings 5,951 have been constructed under the scheme. Similarly, of 1,119 upper primary school buildings only 723 have been completed, and only 6,239 additional classrooms have been constructed against the target of 15,354.

Ironically, while other states have ensured third party monitoring of civil works under SSA, Jammu and Kashmir is yet to do it.

The latest report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India reveals that the impact of the SSA has been dismal as the enrolment of children in the age group of 6 to 14 in these schools has declined.

Quoting the example of Jammu district, the report says due to non-formulation of annual action plans (AAPs) according to requirement, huge balances had remained unspent.

Books issued late

The report reveals that the delayed and defective issuing of textbooks and poor amenities has affected academic performance.

“Despite spending Rs 2.02 crore on maintenance of assets during 2006-11, the classrooms requiring major and minor repairs showed an increasing trend from 598 to 650 during four years time,” the report reveals.

The CAG has also rapped the government for poor implementation of midday meal scheme. It said the scheme was deficient in terms of utilisation of foodgrain allocated by consumer affairs and public distribution department and those lifted by zonal education officers.

“Out of 1,060 kitchen-sheds targeted for completion during 2008-2011, only 666 had been constructed at a total cost of Rs 5.70 crore though money for the rest was also available,” it added.

Funds misused

The CAG has also highlighted the fact that the funds provided were not fully utilised and the scheme had failed to control the students’ dropout rate. To check the dropout rate at government schools, the CAG has recommended formulation of AAPs on a realistic basis.
“The actual expenditure needs to be reported to Union government and textbooks need to be issued on time and need basis. Full allocation of foodgrain need to be lifted under midday meal scheme,” it recommended.

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