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Free Uniforms, Textbooks For Class IX, X Students In Keonjhar

Keonjhar: In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Odisha, the Keonjhar district administration has decided to extend free textbooks, uniforms and midday meals to Class IX and X students of all government and aided schools across the district.

Similarly, Class X students who will perform well in the board examinations conducted by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) will be awarded scholarships ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 according to their performance.

The initiative which aimed at reducing dropout rate, encouraging students for high school studies and addressing their nutritional needs will be rolled out by the district mineral foundation (DMF) from the current academic year.

In Keonjhar, less than 60 out of every 100 children who enrol in Class 1 continue their studies beyond Class X. One of the main reasons behind their dropout is withdrawal of free textbooks, uniforms and mid-day meal after Class VIII, a release issued by the district I&PR Department read.

It is expected that the DMF-funded initiative in the district which has 55 per cent of its population belonging to scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) will bring positive change in the field of secondary education in coming days.

The DMF will spend Rs 22 crore annually to implement the initiative. Being implemented in-line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (draft), 2019, the initiative is aimed to benefit around 50,000 students of the district every year.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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