Free textbooks, uniforms, MDM to Class 9 & 10 students in this Odisha district

Keonjhar: In a landmark initiative, the Keonjhar administration has decided to provide free testbooks, uniforms and mid-day meal (MDM) to all  Class IX and Class X students studying  in  Government and aided schools in the district.

The facilities will be provided to the students from this academic year under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

Besides, performance based scholarships ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 40,000  will be provided to Class X students based on marks secured in the annual Board of Secondary Education (BSE) examination.

The main objectives of the initiative are  to prevent dropout of students after Class VIII, address their nutritional needs during adolescence, encourage them to successfully complete their schooling cycle and support them financially to pursue higher studies after Class X.

“It is seen that out of every 100 children in the district who enroll in Class 1, less than 60 of them successfully manage to continue their studies after Class X. One of the key factors for the high transition loss is the sudden withdrawal of support provided to students in the form of free textbooks, uniforms and mid-day meal, after Class VIII,” said a communique issued by the district Collector.

The scheme will be implemented at a cost of Rs 22 Crore per annum under the DMF.  The initiative, will benefit about 50,000 students of Class IX  and X of the district every year.

“In a socio-economically backward district like Keonjhar, where more than 55% of the population belongs to the SC and ST, the initiative is expected to transform secondary education in the district, in the coming years,” the communique reads.


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