Staff Reporter

ITDA embarks on novel experiment to make education attractive

532 alternative schools were set up in 2005-0614,401 students attend school in the 11 agency mandalsA volunteer uses the local lingo to get the message across

PADERU (Visakhapatnam dt): To overcome the problem of girijan children not getting education and inaccessibility of villages in the difficult terrain of the agency area of the district, the ITDA has set up alternative schools in any school-less habitation with 10 or more children.

Such facilities have come up in habitations which are one kilometre away from schools.

ITDA Project Officer Siddharth Jain said that 532 alternative schools were set up in 2005-06 to educate such children.

The alternative schools in the 11 agency mandals have a total strength of 14,401 students.

Sibling care

"In such schools, breaking ice with the children is very important. To make them come to school a person from the habitation who understands the tribal cultural traits and traditions is put as a volunteer.

He will make the children feel at home by singing songs or talking to them in their language, thus making school a habit," Mr. Jain told reporters on Friday.

Three or four primitive tribal groups (PTGs) particularly would not send their girl children to school, he said.

A factor that came in the way of elder girl children attending school was sibling care. Parents would leave younger children in their care and go to work.

To improve matters, it had been planned to strengthen anganwadis so as to release them from sibling care, Mr. Jain said.

Simultaneously, awareness was being created among women by organising them into self-help groups (SHGs).