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Tribal students given free books, but no teachers, says CAG

Source: PTI
July 13, 2009 20:39 IST
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Tribal students in Jharkhand, who were given textbooks free of cost, could not use them as there were no "qualified teachers" to teach tribal languages, a Comptroller and Auditor General  of India's report has said. The government in 2003 decided to introduce tribal languages for class I to V, it said.

The books were printed on the basis of manuscripts prepared by the Tribal Welfare Research Institute, and distributed among the students in 2004-05 and 2007-08. But the students could not utilise the books printed in five different tribal languages in the absence of qualified teachers to teach the languages, the pointed out in its latest report. Printing and distribution of books worth Rs 1.05 crore without the support teaching staff and not making the languages a part of the syllabus resulted in the wasteful expenditure, the report said. Failure to appoint teachers for teaching tribal languages in particular scripts prior to free distribution of the books defeated the very purpose of promoting education in tribal languages, the report observed .

Similarly, the National Programme for Nutritional Support to Primary Education, commonly known as the mid-day meal scheme, also suffered due to inflated enrollment figures, lack of infrastructural facilities, under-utilisation and mismanagement of funds, according to the report. Revealing that the cooking fund of Rs 21.92 crore remained unutilised, the report said during the period 2004-08 lifting of food grains against the allotment was short by 24 per cent. Twelve per cent to 34 per cent children were not covered under the mid-day meal scheme --this was despite inflated reporting of enrollment and expenditure reported on non-existent Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education, it said.

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