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Odisha: Shiksha sathi project for tribal children

August 17, 2012

To retain tribal students in primary schools, shiksha sathis (‘friends of education’) will be appointed in schools in the interiors of Odisha’s Kandhamal region — a stronghold of the state’s insurgent Maoist insurrection — district collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil informed the media in Behrampur on July 18.
The district administration has initially shortlisted 186 schools, mostly in the Baliguda and Phulbani blocks, where shiksha sathis will be appointed. Besides teaching classes I-II, the shiksha sathis will be interpreters between students and teachers of the schools, says Patil.

Youth educated upto middle school (class VIII) and fluent in tribal Kue and Odia languages would be appointed shiksha sathis by school development management committees for a period of ten months per year with a monthly honorarium of Rs.1,000. The expenses of the initiative will be met from funds allocated for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Integrated Tribal Develo-pment Agency (ITDA) programmes, said a senior government officer.

“The shiksha sathi will track tribal students and mobilise them, their parents and motivate children to attend school,” coordinator of the district primary education project (DPEP) Atulya Champatray said, adding that “the process of their selection and appointment will be completed soon”.

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