Winter here, students yet to get uniform
Faridkot: While most of the students in private schools in the state had switched over to winter uniform a month ago, over 70 per cent of girl students and Scheduled Caste boys in government primary and middle schools are awaiting their winter uniform, which the school education department is supposed to supply free of cost.Over 16.05 lakh Class I to VIII students in 12,974 primary, 2,676 middle, 2,448 high and 1,921 senior secondary government schools in the state are eligible for free winter uniform.Launched in 2010-11, the scheme of providing uniform to all girls, SC and BPL boy students in government schools from Classes I to VIII is funded by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. This uniform is provided once in a year and Rs 400 per student are earmarked under this scheme.While the state school education department has not provided the uniform to any of the upper primary student (Classes VI to VIII) in this academic session so far, about 50 per cent of the primary schoolchildren in the state are yet to get uniform.In Faridkot district, out of total 23,474 eligible students from Classes I to VIII in government schools, the school education department has released the funds for only 12,589 students so far. All these students, 6,835 girls, 5,695 SC boys and 59 BPL boys are Classes I to V students.Prashant Kumar Goyal, Director General School Education (DGSE), Punjab, said the department had received about 40 per cent of the earmarked funds from the Centre.“We will release the money when we get the remaining funds from the Human Resources Development Ministry,” he said.As per information from the school education department, 8.5 lakh girls, 6.05 lakh SC boys and 1.5 lakh BPL boys are eligible to get free uniforms in the state. Total Rs 64.20 crore funds are required to provide uniform to all these students.This set of uniforms include a trouser, a shirt, a pair of shoes, socks, a cap or turban and a warm sweater for boys and kameez, salwar, dupatta, warm sweater, a pair of shoes and socks for girl students.Though the new academic session began on April 1, a large number of students in these schools have not even been provided books by the school education department so far. Two days ago, the Department of School Education asked all government schools in the state to submit the details of books which were not provided to the students so far.