Jagatsinghpur, Nov 16 (LocalWire) Non supply of school uniforms to government run primary schools after opening of school on last summer vacation has forced lakhs of poverty stricken students in Jagatsinghpur district to use tattered and dirty uniforms bringing strong resentment among the children and guardians.
Many students have skipped to attend the classes on many occasions due to want of school uniforms.
Sources said that in 2017-2018, school uniforms had been supplied to nearly 1.61 lakh students from Classes I-VIII of 1381 in government-run primary and upper primary 1381 schools of this district financed by by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds.
Students above poverty level (APL) in these classes in government-aided schools did not get uniform in which fund meant for all the girl students and ST, SC and below poverty line (BPL) boys had been diverted for APL students on last year.
Pertinently, Rs 400 is sanctioned by the government for two pairs of uniform per child, especially girl students and ST, SC and below poverty line (BPL) boys.
However, school teachers allegedly spent Rs 120 to Rs 150 per pair uniform instead of Rs 200 to divert the remaining funds for APL students to cater to distribution of uniform, photography, refreshment and other expenditure.
Guardians, meanwhile, complained, to save money, the uniforms are being made out of sub-standard materials and hence are getting tattered within three-four months.
One guardian said; “I am a daily wager and have no money to purchase school uniforms for my two children. Last year’s uniforms are tattered due to sub-standard dress materials used. It’s over six months that schools have reopened post summer vacation, yet no new uniform is being distributed.”
A headmistress, on condition of anonymity, said: “Every Independence Day, new uniforms are distributed. But none this time.”
“We are forced to purchase one pair of dress @ Rs 120 against Rs 200 allotted, so that other expenditure, including those for APL students, can be met,” she added.
Meanwhile, District Project Coordinator, SSA, Sapani Kumar Jena announced: “From this year, all the students, including APL kids, will get school uniform. Within one week, all the government primary schools will receive their respective funds, except the boys for APL category because no fund has yet allocated from state plan fund.”t
“The state will bear the cost of free uniforms for APL students,” he added.