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‘Model school’ of 2003 lags behind in fulfilling needs of special children

In 2003,the Vadagas Prathmik Shala in Viramgam taluka of Ahmedabad district was distinguished as the ‘adarsh shala’ or model school.

In 2003,the Vadagas Prathmik Shala in Viramgam taluka of Ahmedabad district was distinguished as the ‘adarsh shala’ or model school. On Monday,state Education Secretary Hansmukh Adhia accessed the school as part of the state Education Department’s first-ever quality assessment Gunotsav drive.

As officials went about chronicling the details in a 22-page booklet,Adhia noted what was amiss in the school. The school is situated in a village with a combination of 32 per cent Scheduled Caste,62 per cent OBC and 3 per cent higher caste population. The school has schemes like BALA (Building as Learning Aid),SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan),

Mid-Day Meal scheme as well as the IEDC (Integrated Education for Disabled Children) scheme — till the beginning of this year — running parallel,and an excellent infrastructure. But the school scored badly in terms of the needs of special children as well as the reading test in the case of a few students.

As per the 22-page assessment,a few students in Class VI and VII scored 3 and 4 on a scale of 10 in reading. Besides,two to three mentally-challenged students scored a zero in the reading test even as the IEDC scheme has been covering the school for the last six months.

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Out of the total 236 students the school has,fewer than 200 students are the children of landless labourers who migrate to Saurashtra to work in the cotton fields.

On Monday,the assessment did find that the school was spanking clean with a good library facility,and the students were dressed neatly. Principal Bhagvan Jesalpura said: “Our students come here much before the school timings and clean the entire campus. The toilets are also cleaned by the students themselves.”

A sharp contrast to the model school was the Thor Vadgas Prathmik Shala two Kms away,visited by the Joint Secretary,Industries and Mines Department,Shridevi Shukla.

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The school students barely had proper uniforms or adequate infrastructure. “Many students from Class III,IV and V scored a zero in reading. The cleanliness of the premises,however,is remarkable,” said Shukla.

Instead of the midday meal cooked in the school,“the students enjoyed a lavish treat extended by the village sarpanch for welcoming the guests. We give Rs 150 annually to the students as per the grants for purchasing uniforms. But at times,the students cannot manage proper uniforms,” said Principal Bharat Sidha.

With hardly 165 students out of the total strength of 201,absence is a regular affair. The school has also been facing an opposition by villagers in acquiring land,the principal said.

First published on: 24-11-2009 at 04:17:25 am
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