It seems, the state government has failed to implement effectively, the most ambitious project of the Centre, of providing quality education to children belonging to SC and ST communities.
The central government in 2007-08 had launched a special education programme, wherein children belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes would be enrolled in prestigious schools. The aim of the programme was to provide quality education to such children free of cost leading to their upliftment.
Under the programme, around 150 children (100 belonging to SC and the remaining ST) will be enrolled for 6th and 8th standard every year from each District. The children will be educated upto tenth standard and an average of Rs 50,000 is spent for every child every year. The programme will be jointly implement by Social Welfare Department and Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP).
Apart from paying school fees, expenditure incurred for transportation, lodging and boarding will also be borne by the government for selected beneficiaries.
But, unfortunately no students have been selected under the programme in district for 2013-14. Another major set back is with the academic year soon coming to an end this year's school fees has not been released.
Sources say, most of the schools have failed to fulfill the guidelines under the programme and some of them have furnished wrong information to get enrolled under the programme. Thus, to streamline the programme no beneficiaries are selected in the academic year.
Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) In-charge Officer and District Social Welfare Officer Saraswathi said that the selection process will be resumed beginning next year.
“To ensure transparency, plans have been made to credit the money through on-line process to the colleges directly, and thus there was delay in releasing the funds. As, the on-line process is temporarily halted, funds will be released soon,” she added.
Mysore District Adivasi Rakshana Parishat General Secretary G Swamy said that with barely three months left for the exams, the tribal families are worried about the future of the children.
'The government has released the funds, but concerned officials have to correspond and release the same. We are worried, in case the schools allows to take exams for children, due to non-payment of examination and other fees,' he added.
As many as 12 tribal children of Soliga, Erava, Kadukuruba, Jeenukuruba tribal community children are studying in this academic year, under the programme.