Saturday, September 4, 2010


Lyra Pinto
KAWANT, AUGUST 31, 2010: Twenty-nine development staff from across Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh met at DISHA Development Centre (Don Bosco Kawant) for a training session on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) and the newly-enacted Right to Education (RTE). The centres represented were Kawant, Chhota Udepur, Kapadvanj, Alirajpur and Jhabua.

The aim of the session was to gain an understanding of the provisions of the SSA and RTE, and to learn how to enable people in the villages to secure their right to education under these programmes. The first resource person for the day was Ms. Rita Bhatt, the Director of the NGO ‘Abhiyaan’ (Baroda). She stressed on the need for development workers to secure people’s participation to ensure the success of community-based programmes. She also explained that the SSA does not confine itself to mainstream students but also has provisions for children with special needs. The challenge is to secure the correct enforcement of these provisions despite government apathy.

The second resource person was Mr. Ramanbhai Rathwa, the head of the SSA Block Resource Centre of Kawant taluka. He explained the structure of the SSA implementation system, and also the roles of people’s committees such as the Village Education Committee. The staff understood that a significant amount of money is sanctioned by the government for educational facilities; however, the quality of education remains low.

The program gave the participants the chance to understand two different points of view—that of the government and of an independent NGO—on the functioning of the education system. The staff from all the centres thanked Fr. Gergory Almeida and the development team at DISHA Kawant for organizing this program.

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