The Maharashtra tribal welfare department has temporarily stayed admission of tribal students in reputed English medium schools in Class 1 as part of economic austerity measures undertaken in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Minister KC Padvi said on Monday.
Under a government scheme, tribal students get admission in reputed English medium schools in Class 1 and their education till Class 12 is funded by the state.
Addressing an online press conference, Tribal Welfare Minister Padvi said 50,269 tribal students, currently studying in Classes 2 to 12, will not lose out academically due to the decision and those already admitted in reputed schools will continue their education.
Students who have applied for admissions in Class 1 in English medium schools will now be accommodated in English and semi-English schools affiliated to the tribal welfare department, he said.
He said the decision to stop admission of tribal students in reputed English medium schools in Class 1 this year is temporary and taken as part of economic austerity measures in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister said, “Tribal students in English medium schools will continue with their education. Once the Covid-19 situation improves and schools reopen, the government would revise its decision and enroll tribal students in reputed English medium schools.”
Padvi said 71 per cent of the budgetary allocation of the tribal welfare development is spent on education.
“To ensure tribal students get good education in English, new 52 English and semi-English schools are being started. Qualified teachers are being hired and tribal students will not suffer academically. As many as 1,560 students will be enrolled in these schools,” Padvi said.
The minister said his department ensures good education to tribal children through government ashram (residential) schools, state-aided ashram schools and Eklavya residential public schools, among others.
The department is working on starting English medium curriculum in ashram schools, he said. The minister said there are 25 Eklavya residential public schools in the state where 5,357 students are getting the education from standard 2nd to 12th.
He said a total of 2,640 students are being enrolled in Class 1 this year in different schools under the tribal welfare department.
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