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Haryana literacy picture grim

While Haryana claims to being among the top states in the utilisation of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds, sources say there are still over 15,000 to 20,000 children in each district — three lakh throughout the state — who are not attending school despite the government’s claims about the project being successful.

While there are those living below poverty line (BPL), to whom the education facility seems to be either a distant possibility or the dropout rate among them is high, there are also those living above the poverty line, who didn’t get admission to any school, sources say.

The government claims the number of out-of-school children in the state went down from 3 lakh to 2.01 lakh last year. Even after that, the department claimed that 1.27 lakh children were re-enrolled in alternate innovative education. The claim notwithstanding, the picture is grim in each district.

In every district, at least 15,000 to 20,000 children are still not attending school, sources claim. Anand Sharma, director elementary education, Haryana, said:‘‘There is a total of 22 lakh students enrolled in various schools across the state. Out of these, 14.38 lakh are studying in government schools.”

There are another 1.50 lakh children still registered in Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, says a source in SSA. Sources add that despite crores of rupees spent in districts like Hisar alone, there are 20,000 children unable to avail any education. Similar is the situation in Sirsa, Mewat and Bhiwani.

The scenario might be slightly better in other districts, but is far from perfect. The total budget for SSA in the year 2006-07 was Rs 365 crore, which is five times the 2002-03 figure, but the number of children not receiving education has been steadily going up.

There are 4,608 alternative innovative education (AIE) centres functioning in Haryana and assisting them in helping and educating the poor are about 75 NGOs.














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