Ganjam District students who study in schools under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) have been affected as the Government has failed to provide them with text books and uniforms.
Around 1500 students between 9 and 14 years age background study at 32 such schools managed by various non-government organizations across the district. The schools, under the ministry of the labour and employment, were opened to rehabilitate child labourers and provide them with education up to class 5.
One such school is managed by an activist in Berhampur who says "Students joined school almost three months ago, but they are yet to receive textbooks from the authorities concerned. Their education has been severely hampered due to the absence of text books". The students have not even been given their uniforms under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) like the students of general schools".
SSA's district project co-ordinator AK Mishra said the SSA had no provision to provide text books to students of NCLP schools. "We encourage children to enroll in the nearby general schools", he added. The students however, prefer to join in these schools as they get a monthly incentive of Rs. 150/-.
Additionally the District Magistrate Nirmal Mishra said "The district administration will request the Odisha primary education project authorities to provide the students of these special schools with enough text books and uniforms". He said the issue was taken up at NCLP's general body meeting in Ganjm District recently. The centre has approved 25 of the 32 SSA schools in the district so far.