Residential School for the needy

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Times of India: The state government has planned a residential school in the city for street children in the six to 14 age group.

Mahaveer Mane, who has been holding the additional charge of the directorate of education (primary) since January 1, said, “This initiative is the first of its kind in the state for street children by the state government, its funding will be through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.” Mane was speaking at a seminar jointly organized by the Pune Union of Working Journalists and the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan on Saturday.

This was revealed by Mahaveer Mane, who has the additional charge of the directorate of education (primary), while speaking at a seminar organised jointly by the Pune Union of Working Journalists and the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan on Saturday. Mane said, “This is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the state for street children by the state government and funds will be made available through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme.” Mane was given the additional charge of primary education from January 1.

A survey on the number of eligible children is currently being done by officials of the municipal school board of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the school will open from June this year, Mane said.

“As per the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, it is the state’s responsibility to educate every child in the six and 14 age group. It is disappointing that close to two lakh children in the state are out of school and most of these are street children. We will try and experiment to bring these children into the education mainstream through the proposed school,” he said.

Asked about the infrastructure, Mane said that some vacant schools of the PMC will be identified and an appropriate building will be selected to run the school.

The education department will take help of social activists, non governmental organizations and experts in the field of education to scout for these children and admit them in this school.

“A separate module will be prepared for these students as many of them may not have attended a school ever. They need to be taught in a different manner. For instance, a ten-year old child should ideally be studying in std V, but if he has never gone to school, he needs to be taught for all the previous classes as well. The process of preparing a separate module for such students is currently underway,” Mane said.

He said that if the project was successful in the city, it would eventually be replicated all over the state.

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