Nellore, Jan (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday credited Rs 6,673 crore into the bank accounts of nearly 45 lakh mothers as part of the Jagananna Amma Vodi (mother's lap), an education encouragement scheme.
As many as 84 lakh students across the state are set to benefit from the scheme.
"With the constant efforts by the state government through Amma Vodi, Goru Muddha and Vidya Kanuka schemes, an additional four lakh students were enrolled in government schools this year, as the schools have the facilities on par with corporate schools," said an official.
Reddy said no mother should be deprived from sending her child to school due to poverty and aspired that no child should end up as a labourer instead of going to school for education.
"Within eight months of forming the government, Rs 15,000 was credited to the account of mothers for sending their children to schools," said Reddy as he described the Amma Vodi scheme as Sri Rama Raksha for every child who wants to study.
In 2021, the Andhra Pradesh government will credit Rs 14,000 each to the beneficiaries' accounts as part of the scheme even as it deviated the balance Rs 1,000 into the district toilet management fund (DTMF) for the upkeep of toilets in government schools.
"The government has taken this decision as around 12 to 23 per cent of girl students are quitting education every year due to the absence or poor condition of toilets in schools, as per UNICEF and WHO reports," he said.
Reddy also cited a World Bank report which stated that every rupee spent on toilets yields an economic benefit of Rs 34.
Likewise, the state government also doled out an option for IX to XII standard students to take a laptop in lieu of the Amma Vodi scheme from next year.
"In order to enhance computer skills of students studying in government schools and provide feasibility for online classes, the state government has brought this option and all the laptops will be offered with a warranty of three years," said the official.
The government is envisaging to give laptops powered by 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard disk with a Windows 10 operating system interface costing up to Rs 27,000.
Similarly, the government also aims to introduce a computer literacy programme from Class VIII onwards as part of the curriculum.
Further, the Chief Minister said that internet facility will be provided in every village in the next three years through underground cables at an estimated expenditure of Rs 5,900 crore.
According to Reddy, starting February 1, all the 55,607 anganwadis will be renamed as YSR Pre-Primary-1, YSR Pre-Primary-2 and YSR Pre-First class with English medium instruction at an expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore.
In a new initiative, the state government is also planning to send text messages to the parents of the students in case a child doesn't attend school for even a day. If a student is absent for three days, a village volunteer will be deputed to his home to check on his health condition or the reason for his absence.
"It is the responsibility of the parents to send their children to schools and it's the responsibility of (village) secretariat staff, volunteers, parent committees and teachers to ensure that children are attending school regularly," said the CM.
Reddy asserted that the government aims to achieve 100 per cent literacy in the next three years as he reminded that Rs 24,000 crore has been spent on education alone in the space of 19 months.
"The previous TDP government had closed several schools, maintained government schools in dilapidated conditions and left dues to mid-day meal workers for over eight months," he alleged.