Against the Gujarat government’s tall claims of “the unique initiative of Kanya Kelavani and Shala Praveshotsav” being organised in the state for last 14 years that has significantly resulted in a reduction of dropout rate in Class I to V from 20.93 per cent to only 2 per cent (for the period 2001 to 2013), the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in the state Legislative Assembly on Tuesday presented a different picture.
Reflecting the huge gap in the government’s claims and the ground reality, in the test checked districts by CAG, out of 1.87 lakh students enrolled in Class I in 2009-10, only 1.58 lakh students (that comes out to be 84.53 per cent) were retained in Class V till 2013-14. Similarly, out of 1.17 lakh scheduled tribe (ST) students only 96,568 students; 82 per cent were retained till Class V for the same period.
Though, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Right to Education (RTE) Act targeted 100 per cent student retention by 2013, the report revealed that the retention rate in Class I to VIII till 2013-14 was 82.88 per cent and 78.72 per cent among ST students. Less enrolment and non-retention in government and government aided schools was attributed to non-maintenance of pupil-teacher ratio and inadequate basic amenities in schools.
Glaring instances of these were mentioned in the CAG report including non-availability of computer teachers and coordinators resulting in a loss to the tune of Rs 9.84 crore as 3,541 computers out of total of 11,888 purchased till 2006-07 became obsolete and gathered dust.
Other major lacunae mentioned in the CAG report indicated towards gross under utilisation of the earmarked funds for Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) under the midday meal (MDM) scheme. Against the availability of funds of Rs 73.01 crore, Rs 78.43 crore and Rs 95.13 crore under TSP in MDM scheme for years 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively, expenditure was only Rs 9.25 crore (12.67 per cent), Rs 11.05 crore (14.09 per cent) and Rs 21.33 crore (22.42 per cent) in these respective years.
Further, in contravention to provisions of grant release orders, the district project coordinators (DPCs) were reported of diverting the centrally sponsored scheme (SSA) funds to state sponsored schemes including Ashram Shalas and Eklavya Model Residential Schemes of tribal development department.
Not only irregular diversion of funds, the state project director (SPD) of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) has reported incorrect expenditure figures to the government of India. An expenditure of Rs 89.55 crore inhas been curred since 2009-10 up to March 2014 sanctioned for construction of 289 RMSA schools out of 326 RMSA schools planned at various locations.
“It was noticed that (June 2014) out of 289 schools, work had not commenced at 189 locations. Funds of Rs 89.55 crore allotted to implementing agency as advance were shown as expenditure and incorrect expenditure figures were reported to the central government,” the CAG report stated.