Bhubaneswar: The Centre has decided to set up Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in as many as 92 blocks in Odisha for imparting quality education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) children.
The model school will come up in every block with more than 50 per cent Scheduled Tribes population and at least 20,000 tribal persons.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday gave its in-principle approval for setting up these model schools.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, who hails from Odisha, informed media today that his ministry has decided to set up Ekalabya Model Schools in 462 blocks in the country including 92 blocks in Odisha.
The CCEA has approved Rs 2,242 crore during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for rolling out the revamped scheme.
There will be an Autonomous Society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs similar to Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to run the EMRSs, the government said in a release.
As many as 102 such blocks are already having EMRSs. Thus, 462 new EMRSs will be established in these blocks across the country.
The new scheme envisages increase in construction cost of EMRS from current Rs 12 crore to Rs 20 crore to improve the construction quality and ensure better facilities for the students, it said.
Sports facilities in 163 tribal-dominated districts will also be set up at a unit cost of Rs 5 crore each to be constructed by 2022. Financial provisions for 15 sports facilities during 2018-19 and 2019-20 have also been approved.
“EMRS is an excellent approach for imparting quality education to ST children. Apart from school building including hostels and staff quarters, provision for a playground, students’ computer lab, teacher resource room, etc are also included in the EMRSs. This initiative will benefit ST students immensely,” it said.
“By focusing on specific intervention to cater to the educational needs of STs, the quality of life of STs is expected to improve to the level of rest of the social groups and a visible impact by 2021 Census,” it added.