Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 11:
Odisha Government has decided to evaluate the free bicycle scheme meant for Class-X students through an external agency.
The Finance Department of Odisha Government has selected Lucknow-based AMS Consulting Private Limited for the job and has asked State School and Mass Education (SME) Department to provide all support to them.
The SME Department has appointed a Nodal officer of Deputy Director Rank to supervise the operations.
As per the new strategy, the government would form a committee comprising a project director, an educationist, a social activist and five field level experts to evaluate the current status of the bicycle scheme.
In the first phase, they would evaluate the process in nine of the 30 districts. Ten schools each from two blocks in each district would be sampled as part of the evaluation. Thirteen students from each school would be part of the evaluation process.
Among these 13 students, while there would be 10 students of Class-X, another three would be students who have graduated from Class-X. Besides, the evaluation process would also include three students who are not in Class-X.
Overall, 2880 students and 180 Head Masters would be made part of the study.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the government within the next three to four months.
It may be noted that the government started the scheme in 2011-12 to provide free bicycles to select Class-X girl students of government, aided and 118 tribal sub-plan schools. Each student was offered Rs 2600 to purchase a new bicycle as per the scheme.
The government added the male students of SC, ST and BPL category to this scheme the next year in 2012-13. Besides, Sanskrit tolls and Madrasas were added to the list of schools eligible for the scheme.
The Government had spent Rs 108 crore to fund bicycles for 4,15,619 students last year.