Over 55K adolescent girls miss schools in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: As many as 55868 adolescent girls (in the age group of 11-14 years) were out of schools in all over 30 districts in Odisha, an official said today.

The Women & Child Welfare and Mission Shakti Department (W&CD-MS), which conducted a survey, wrote a letter to the School and Mass Education Department to take immediate steps to get them enrolled in the schools.

The Ministry of W&CD-MS has been operating the Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) scheme across the State since April, 2018.

As per the survey, the maximum number of 10599 out of school adolescent girls are identified in Koraput district followed by 8899 in Nabarangpur, 7132 in Kalahandi, 5585 in Malkangiri and 5320 in Raygada respectively.

While in Bhadrak district there are no out-of-school girls in the age group of 11-14 years but Ganjam, the home district of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has around 4296 girls.

“We have got this information through a survey done by the field functionaries and the same was shared with the school and mass education department,” said Rasmi Ranjan Nayak, Joint Secretary of W&CD-MS Departement.

He further said they have asked the department to check and take necessary action.

However, the School and Mass Eucation Ministry has raised questions on the figure and survey claiming the actual number is not more than two thousands.

“As per the OPEPA (Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority) survey done in 2017, only 1060 adolescent girls are out of schools in the State,” School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayn Patra told reporters refusing to accept the fresh survey figures.

With both the State and Central governments spending crores of rupees for education of girls under Right to Education (RTI) Act, the shocking figures have raised serious questions over the successful implementation of the scheme.

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