‘Academic session in Ekalavya schools to commence from June’

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SRINAGAR: Ekalavya Residential Model Schools (ERMS) in Kulgam and Anantnag, exclusively constructed for tribal students, would be made functional from June this year, Minister for Tribal Affairs and Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali stated on Thursday.
Taking a review of various ongoing tribal developmental projects in Kashmir division in presence of Vice Chairman State Advisory Board for Development of Gujjar and Bakerwals, Gulzar Ahmad Khatana, the minister said “only quality education has the power to change the fate of a student”, an official handout read.
He said the purpose of constructing the ERMS in the state was to provide a value based education with equal opportunities for the excellence of tribal students. “It will make them at par with a brilliant lot of the country so that they could compete with them,” he added.
Giving infrastructure details about the schools, the minister said each school complex in Kulgam and Anantnag is constructed at a cost of Rs 16 crore. He said each complex has separate hostels for both boys and girls. Besides, academic block, an administrative block along with a library and other necessary facilities are also available, he said adding that the school would have intake capacity of 440, where 220 seats will be for boys and 220 for girls, the handout read.
The minister directed the Director Education Kashmir to provide a panel of best principals, who after proper screening would be selected for serving the schools. He also directed the Commissioner Secretary Tribal Affairs to start the recruitment process for a good administrator as the director of the schools.
Giving the roadmap of managing the schools at the state level, the minister directed to constitute a state committee which will monitor the functioning of these schools. With minister himself as the chairman, the committee would have Secretary Tribal Affairs, Director Tribal Affairs, Directors Education Jammu, Kashmir, Director Health, Director Youth Sports and Services, Principals of Sainik schools as members.
Zulfkar Ali said similar kind of committees would be replicated at the district level, where the schools are situated. He said here District Development Commissioner would be the chairman of the committee, while the district level officers of the concerned offices would serve as the members.
The minister assured there will be no compromise on the quality of teaching. He said the teachers hired for the job would be provided handsome annual packages with proper boarding and lodging facilities.
He informed that three more similar schools are to be opened in the districts of Rajouri, Poonch and Kargil. The schools are getting constructed by Roads and Buildings Department. The repair and renovation work of Gujjar, Bakerwal Boys hostel at Tulsi Bagh has been completed, while as the work on the construction of PG hostel for tribal students in the same area would be completed by the end of the current year. The works were carried out by J&K Housing Board, it further read.
The foundation work of Bandipora Residential School for tribal students has already started, while as the construction of a tribal hostel for girls at Kupwara would be completed by June this year, it added.

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