By Our Reporter
Shillong: On occasion of the International Literacy Day, an enrollment drive for school drop outs under Shillong Municipality was organised by the Office of the District Mission Coordinator Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), East Khasi Hills at Asom Kristi Kendra, Dhankheti here on Thursday.
With the State’s literacy rate now standing at 75.45 percent, the SSA programme aims at decreasing the number of school drop outs in order to achieve 100 percent literacy.
While citing poverty as the main reason for pulling out of schools, Additional Deputy Commissioner-East Khasi Hills C Kharkongor urged the parents to make an effort to provide education to their children bmaking use of the various schemes introduced by the Central Government.
Terming education as an important tool for socio-economic development, Kharkongor advocated the removal of all barriers which could prevent a child from attending school.
The ADC informed that literacy rate in East Khasi Hills District has gone up from 76.07 percent in 2001 census to 84.70 percent in 2011 census.
“Irrespective of this increase, we still fall way behind the desired mark,” Kharkongor added.
The ADC also enrolled six school drop out children to the SSA programme, while giving out the Best Village Education Committee Awards to 80 VECs, which includes a memento and a cash prize of Rs 2000 each.
Meanwhile, elaborating on the enrollment drive, District Mission Coordinator SSA East Khasi Hills, P Lyngdoh said proper identification of school drop outs and children with no schooling at all will be carried out from October to December 2011 in all eight blocks, resource centres and Shillong Municipality and an enrollment drive programme will be organised by January 2012 whereby the children will be enrolled in a special training programme to be given at any SSA, Government lower primary or upper primary school.
“The Centre has allotted Rs 6000 per child for enrolling in special training programme which is non-residential and Rs 2000 per child in residential programme”, he added.
International Literacy Day was also celebrated in Tura with a grand function organized by the District unit of the SSA at the Social Mobilization Experimentation and Learning Center (SMELC) at Dakopgre. The theme of the celebration was ‘Literacy for peace’ and it was marked by the distribution of Aids and Appliances to children with special needs by the chief guest Dr. Eugene Thomas, Pro Vice Chancellor, NEHU, Tura Campus.
In Jowai, the International Literacy Day was observed at the District Library Auditorium, Mynthong, under the theme ‘Literacy and Peace.
The function was organised by the Jaintia Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) with an aim to highlight the importance of literacy. (With inputs from our Tura and Jowai correspondents)