Jaya announces freebies for school students

Chennai: In a bid to increase enrolment and check dropouts at school level, particularly in villages, Tamil Nadu Government today announced a series of measures, including free footwear and bags to the students, and allocated about Rs 491 crore.

Students of Class 1 to 8 would receive two more sets of uniforms in addition to the existing two sets from 2012-13 academic year, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said.

She also said full pants and salwar kameez would be provided to boys and girls studying in class six and above respectively as uniform in place of the half-pants and half-sarees. Nearly 47 lakh students would get the benefit.

The government would incur an expenditure of Rs 259.95 crore on this count, the Chief Minister said. She ordered provision of footwear to 81 lakh students at a cost of about Rs 94 crore.

Besides, nearly 92 lakh students would also receive uniform school bags, geometry box and colour pencil boxes and the government would incur an expenditure of about Rs 136 crore, she said.

In order to encourage students among Backward Class, Most Backward and Denotified Communities to excel in studies, Jayalalithaa also increased the prize money for class ten and 12 toppers at district level.