Hooda govt to ferry kids to school in 7 dists

To ensure that distance does not act as a deterrent for parents to send their children to school, particularly in rural areas, the Haryana education department has asked all heads of educational institutions to ferry students to schools in areas where there are no schools nearby.

Following the instructions, issued in November, the government has pressed into service autorickshaws and local buses to ferry children. Instructions have also been issued to start a dedicated service in 64 such habitations in seven districts where there are no schools within a distance of 1 to 3 km.

Explaining that children are being ferried to ensure that they receive free and compulsory education up to Class VIII, Director (Elementary Education) Dr Abhe Singh Yadav said: "Each district elementary education officer (DEO) has been Rs 50,000 to ensure the free and compulsory education to students. We have asked teachers to make arrangements for ferrying students to schools."

"The government will provide transport facilities to students till the time enough schools come up in the immediate neighbourhood of such areas. The idea is that while primary schools from Classes I to V should be located at a distance of 1 km from a student's residence, elementary school up to Class VIII should be in the vicinity of 3 km," he added.

"There should be at least 25 students for a school to come up. These habitations, even within the same district, are located at a fairly large distance. So, currently we don't have the requisite student strength to set up schools in such areas, said an official.

According to officials, the ferry service is set to start in Gurgaon, where 10 areas have been identified as having no schools. "These habitations basically comprise 8 to 10 houses. We found that these isolated areas are the only ones where the children don't have schools nearby," said an official.

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