Raipur (Chhattisgarh): The number of students taking admission in reputed schools under the RTE (Right to Education) grew from 4,000 in 2016 to 9,574 in 2017 and this year. The figure may cross the 10,000 mark this year.
And the credit for this quantum jump must go, at least partly, to the district collector OP Choudhary.
Soon after taking over as the collector in April 2016, Choudhary discovered that the children were finding themselves ill at ease in the schools. They found the atmosphere alien and oppressive, and could not cope with the burden of studies. English was their biggest problem. They were unable to converse in that language and consequently, felt inferior to their peers. Perhaps this was one reason why close to 300 children failed in that year and left their schools. The parents of the children too started pulling out their wards from prestigious schools.
Choudhary decided to start ‘community coaching classes’ for these students. He appealed to the officers, teachers, and the youth to contribute. His efforts bore fruit and currently, at least 50 free coaching centres for these children are running in the capital. At every centre, 25-30 children are taught.
The district’s top officers, including the collector, regularly teach children at these centres to help them gain confidence. Children from grades 1 to grade 5 are taught English, Science and Mathematics according to their syllabus. Only students who have been admitted to reputed schools under the RTE are taught at these centres. Classes are conducted in the mornings and the evenings. The campaign has translated into the number of children taking admission in English medium schools under RTE registering a significant growth.