Gogoi thrust on education

Guwahati, Nov. 27: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today underscored the need to provide more thrust to tea and minority pockets where the number of out-of-school children is maximum.
He made the observations while chairing the first governing body meeting of Rashtriya Madyamik Siksha Abhijan and the fifth governing body meeting of Sarba Siksha Abhijan, sources said.
Gogoi, however, lauded the efforts of the Sarba Siksha Abhijan for reducing the number of out-of-school children from 13.4 lakh in 2002-03 to 1.99 lakh in 2008-09. It is expected that the number would further go down to 98,667 in the current year. Jorhat, Golaghat and Lakhimpur are the three districts that do not have out-of-school children.
Gogoi stressed the need to create more classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of schoolchildren at the elementary level, saying there was a requirement of another 20,000 classrooms.
The chief minister also underlined the need to provide drinking water, toilet and common room in schools. He asked the officials of the literacy campaign to hold teachers’ training programmes in summer vacations to ensure smooth functioning of classes and also directed them to take stringent action against unwilling teachers.
“Capacity building and empowerment of teachers through in-service training is a prerequisite for quality education and no one can shirk this responsibility at the expense of the education of children,” the source quoting the chief minister said.
Mission director Avinash Joshi asked for the release of the state’s share of free textbooks worth Rs 66.24 crore and urged the finance department to release the sanctioned funds of Rs 21.97 crore awarded under the 12th Finance Commission for the purpose.