Urban destitute, street kids to get education under new scheme

The Centre will support the States in providing education to deprived “urban” children, including ragpickers and those living on streets, under the integrated scheme for school education, set to be rolled out this year.

The scheme, which has been formulated by subsuming the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education programmes, seeks to “holistically” cover school education from pre-schooling to senior secondary level up to Class XII.

Funds will be provided to the States to start pre-primary classes in schools.

To ensure smooth transition of children from pre-primary Anganwadi centres to formal school, the State governments and Union Territory (UT) administrations will have to take steps to locate the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres within the primary school complex.

In habitations not covered by ICDS and wherever the State governments and UT administrations are "desirous" of starting a pre-school in a primary school, the scheme will provide support.

Pre-schools

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry will also fund opening of pre-schools in primary schools in areas not covered under the ICDS programme of the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry.

"The integrated scheme on school education will cover all children from the age of 4 to 18 years," a ministry official told DH.

For urban deprived and children “without adult protection,” the integrated scheme will provide support for creation of residential facilities in the areas to be identified by the States and UTs.

“Children on the streets suffer from many denials and vulnerabilities which include deprivation of responsible adult protection, coercion to work (for daily food), work in unhealthy circumstances like ragpicking, begging and sex work. Education can help change their lives,” the official said.

Inclusive design

Based on the evaluation of proposals from the States, funds will be allocated for “refurbishing of unused buildings” for use as residential facilities for street children who do not have any adult protection.

The scheme will also support construction of new residential facilities to serve children in remote, sparsely populated areas, including tribal, desert and hilly areas.

“The design of these buildings should be inclusive to serve children with disabilities as well. Proposals for funding addition of spaces in under-utilised existing schools or refurbishing of unused existing schools would be examined on a case to case basis,” the official said.

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Urban destitute, street kids to get education under new scheme

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