Value-based education should be imparted to children in order to lay a strong foundation in their minds, Director of State Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan Satyanarayana said on Saturday.

Addressing a State-level training camp for the secondary school management and development committee members here, he lamented that the pass percentage was below par despite expenditure of crores of rupees by the Central and State governments.

The Abhiyan conducted a test in reading and writing for nearly 15,000 students and nearly 30 per cent of students were found lagging behind, Dr. Satyanarayana said and called for holding of special classes for mediocre students.

When an eligibility test was conducted for several nations for development of education, China stood in the first position by securing 556 marks, but India stood in the 117th position, the Director said. Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh excelled in human resource development index. Nearly a million students are enrolling afresh in schools and education is the foundation for their future, he remarked. The responsibility of imparting education to the growing population lied on officials and teachers, he said.

District Collector V. Anil Kumar opined that periodical training programmes would benefit headmasters.

Calling for cent per cent enrolment of children in schools, he said funds sanctioned for school buildings would be optimally utilised if kept under the control of headmasters. He urged the Director to direct posting of watchmen and sweepers in all the schools to ensure the safety of computers and furniture and to keep the school premises clean.

Joint Director of Abhiyan - Balakasaiah, Regional Joint Director of School Education - Ramana Kumar, DEO K. Anjaiah, Deputy DEOs, Headmasters Association State president Mallikarjuna Sarma and a headmaster from each district in the State participated.