The government plans to recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 Eklavya schools, which are to be made by 2025-26 for tribal children. The minister of state for tribal affairs Renuka Singh Saruta informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) are being set-up under a central scheme aimed at providing quality education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) children from class 6th to class 12th in remote areas of the country.
Parliamentary panel’s concern
Meanwhile, a parliamentary panel has raised concerns over the timely fulfilment of a target of establishing 740 EMRS by 2025-26 for tribal children, with only 401 been made functional so far.
The data was shared in the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment (2022-23) report that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (March 14).
The committee said while the target of establishing 740 EMRS has been set to be achieved by 2025-26, so far only 401 schools have been made functional as on February 28.
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“This would mean making 339 EMRS functional in the remaining financial years. The committee is a little apprehensive about the achievement of the target as the tribal affairs ministry could only spend ₹1,465.27 crore till 31.01.2023 out of the budgetary estimates of ₹2,000 crore under the EMRS in 2022-23,” it said.
The ministry also informed that around two-and-a-half years are required for one EMRS to be completed. Hence, the committee expects all remaining EMRS construction to start now if the target is to complete these schools by 2025-26, the panel noted.
In its 34th report presented in April last year, the committee said it had already examined the issue to the last detail and expected the ministry to positively implement its recommendations.
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“However, they would like to underline, once again, first, the implementation of the proposal to appoint all proposed 38,800 teachers and staff for the EMRSs well in time, second, to address the difficulties of first-time learners/children hitherto devoid of any formal education from the tribal population in clearing entrance exams for EMRS and third, to ensure that inspiring life-stories of tribal leaders, freedom fighters, academicians, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, market leaders etc. are adequately included in the school curriculum of EMRS,” it said.
The committee said it would also like to be informed of the expenditure incurred from the budgetary estimates of 2023-24 on the EMRSs in their action-taken notes.
(With agency inputs)