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AP plans more schools to boost primary education

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, June 12

THE Andhra Pradesh Government is currently concentrating on imparting primary education to children so as to achieve 100 per cent literacy rate and eliminate child labour in the State by 2004, according to the Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Releasing the campaign material against child labour on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said that efforts were on to provide one elementary school per sq km and a primary school for every 3 km area in the State for imparting education to all the estimated 35-lakh children, who were currently out of school.

He wanted the State Education Department to embark upon a 10-day programme next month for the enrolment of children in schools.

Stating that child labour was a blot on the society, Mr Naidu said that he had instructed revenue and police officials to impose fines and book cases against those employing children below the age of 14 years. The fine, as per the recent Supreme Court judgment, could be to the tune of Rs 20,000.

Mr Naidu as well as the Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr B. Dattatreya, emphasised the need for launching a mass movement for elimination of child labour. An integrated approach was sought for controlling population growth, eradication of poverty and elimination of child labour.

Earlier, the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues took part in a workshop on `Sensitisation and capacity-building towards elimination of child labour', jointly organised by Dr MCR HRD Institute and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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