Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jan 07, 2005
Industry & Economy
AP plans 94 centres for girls' education
Hyderabad , Jan. 6
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to open 94 residential centres exclusively for girls to emphasise on the education of female children.
The use of tribal languages and the development of specific curricula and methodologies will be encouraged for the education of tribal people who do not speak Telugu that has been the medium of education in Government schools in the State, said the Chief Minister, Dr Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
Inaugurating an international seminar on `EFA (Education for All) Implementation: Teacher and Resource Management in the Context of Decentralisation' here on Thursday, the Chief Minister said that though the difference in gender-based enrolment in schools was only 1.5 per cent, the drop-out rate of girls is more.
He said that girls get dropped out of schools, as families facing economic hardships may choose to educate only boys or on account of early marriages. Hence, an added emphasis is being made on the education of girls.
Similarly, he said, the use of tribal languages would ease the learning of tribal people. The idea is to maintain and reinforce the unique cultural and social traditions of tribals and also equip them to enter the mainstream on their own terms. This is expected to ensure high enrolment and retention of tribals in schools.
The three-day seminar was being held by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI). Representatives from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Mozambique and Pakistan will present their country reports at the seminar.
Dr Reddy said that despite achieving 97 per cent enrolment of children in schools (ensuring that 99 per cent of all habitations have schools and 80 per cent of the habitations have early education centres), there are 4.4 lakh children in the State who are out of school and are working for their family's living. The dropout rate from schools is currently as high as 34 per cent.
He said that his Government had launched new programmes to eradicate illiteracy. These programmes are community-based, involving the 5-lakh women who were members of self-help groups (SHGs). "Achievement of total literacy will be a new target for these SHGs," he added.
The Director of the UNESCO Division of Educational Policies and Strategies, Dr Mir Asghar Husain, said that the six goals of EFA are providing early childhood care and education, universal primary education, youth and adult learning, literacy, gender parity and quality education. The seminar was an attempt to harmonise planning and administration in this regard.
The Principal of ASCI, Dr S. K. Rao, said that the purpose of the seminar was to bring countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America together to exchange experiences related to best practices of human and financial resource mobilisation.
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