Bokakhat, July 20th 2011: Around 2,027 children between the age group of 6-14 years are still remaining out of school in Golaghat district. Already Assam Sharba Shikha Abhijan (SSA) has completed its 10 years of functioning in the district with a sole motive of bringing all the children of that age group to the ambit of formal education.
On 20th July 2011, NEST revealed its findings of the research work to the Elected Women Representatives of Golaghat West Development Block, Bokakhat. Using RTI, the organization gathered various information related to the elementary education in the district which collated and analyzed to draw some inferences. What concerned the organization was that no sustainable mechanism of the SSA is working in the district providing alarming and clear indication of collapsing the entire intervention after 2012 when SSA is scheduled to be wind up.
NEST gathered all the EWRs and presented the findings and urged to take some initiative in their own local self so that the national goal of universilation of elementary education could be achieved.
The EWRs are dumb surprised to realize that there are some committees formed in their Panchayats where they were supposed to play some pivotal role. All the Panchayat Ward Members are to be a president of the respective Village Education Committee (VEC) was ‘news’ for them. Gaon Panchayat president were stunt to know that they are the president of the Gaon Panchayat Education Committee (GPEC) too. All the set procedures for formation of peoples committees under SSA were informed to the participants by the resource persons.
Ms. Hemanjali Chutia, NEST, also informed the participants about the Activity Mapping published by the Panchayat and Rural Development Ministry, of the Govt. of Assam on 15th June 2007 where through an executive order the responsibility of Elementary Education is devolved to the PRIs with Fund, Function and Functionaries (3F).
Ms. Rituparna Nath, also informed the participants about 13 Panchayats of the district where number of out of school children are more than 50 and urged all the EWRs to take necessary steps to reverse the situation at their level.
Ms. Juri Das, President, BEWRF Bokakhat expressed her anguish on the lack of useful information for the local self governance. “There are so many trainings and so many agencies like SSA functioning with the public fund, why they do not empower us with such mundane information. Rather they try to mislead and misguide us”.
All the participants decided to explore their School Management Committees, Village Education Committees, Tea Garden Education Committees and Gaon Pnanchayt Education Committees and ensured necessary proactive intervention to make their constituencies Out-of-School Children (OSC) free constituency.