The Uttar Pradesh government has announced for the first time scheme to distribute textbooks, bags, uniforms, and shoes free to students studying in government-run secondary schools under the Ministry of Aditya Nath Yogi. Earlier, the said benefits were limited to students from classes I to VIII. Going by the figures, there are 4.48 lakh students in government schools. Adding to this, the number of students in government-aided schools, the figure stands at 40.06 lakh.
- The proposed cost of one set comprising school bag, uniform, textbooks and shoes is Rs 150, Rs 1,000, Rs 908 and Rs 500 per child, respectively.
- Adding together, the secondary education department will have to spend Rs 2,558 per child to meet the expenses incurred for books, uniforms, shoes and books.
- The total expenditure will be Rs 114.82 crore considering the scheme is rolled out only for government school children
- In case, the scheme covers students of government-aided schools also, the cost will be spiked to Rs 1,024.75 crore.
Who is Poor?
- The definition of the poor family was sought from top officials in the secondary education department for free of cost distribution of uniforms, books, shoes and bags to children of government-run secondary schools in UP.
- The family income of Rs 46,080 or less per annum is considered to come under below poverty line, and those students will get the benefits such as free books, uniforms, bags and shoes
- The Rs 56,460 slab is for urban families.
- Once ‘poor’ is defined, actual beneficiaries for the scheme will be enlisted.
- The government will decide whether to limit the scheme to government school children or to include kids enrolled in government-aided schools also considering total budget to be allocated for the scheme and the per annum expenditure to be incurred.
This is a first-of-its-kind scheme started by the state government. Since there is no such scheme run by the Centre, there is no possibility of financial assistance. The entire expense will be borne by the state government, education officials have been told. After working out actual figures, purchase process and distribution of books, uniforms, shoes and bags will be done by a committee led by the chief secretary, reads the circular. The students from poor families who are eager to study but do not have books or bags due to the financial backgrounds will get access to them.
This scheme is a great help to the poor families fulfilling the aspirations of students so that the basic books, bags, uniforms etc. do not seem luxuries to them.