Around four lakh students in government-aided schools have benefitted from fee concessions in the academic year 2020-21, announced Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister on Friday as per the Economic Survey Report (ESR) of Maharashtra 2020-21. The minister said there has been a 204 per cent rise in the number of beneficiaries who are provided with free uniform and writing material in the last two years.
According to the ESR, in 2020-21, 86,962 students from economically backward and deprived sections have received admissions to schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Gaikwad said, "Over 60,341 dropouts were identified and brought back to school between 2019 and 2021. While 86,962 students from economically backward and deprived sections were granted admissions to schools under RTE."
Further, Gaikwad, "There has been a seven per cent rise in enrolment of primary school students under the Midday Meal scheme in the last two years from 56.99 lakh in 18-19 to 60.70 lakh in 20-21. In secondary classes, the corresponding rise has been 8.2 per cent."
Due to the shift to online education on account of Covid-19, textbooks have been distributed to all students so that they can learn at home. Gaikwad said, "An education calendar has been prepared for areas lacking internet access. ESR has also recommended efforts to impart education through interactive platforms like GEO TV, Doordarshan, and Google Classroom."
More than two lakh students, teachers, and parents use the DIKSHA app daily for school education. Gaikwad said, "Maharashtra tops the nation in the use of ‘DIKSHA’ app for school education. Of the total average use in the country, the average in the state was 46 per cent. More than two lakh students, teachers, and parents use the DIKSHA app daily."