In a move towards promoting education and the socio-economic development of Scheduled Castes (SCs) in India, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched the “Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas” (SHRESHTA).
The primary objective of SHRESHTA is to expand the reach of Government development initiatives and address service deficiencies in SC-dominant areas within the education sector, read the press release from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The scheme aims to achieve this through the collaboration of grant-in-aid institutions run by non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and residential high schools offering high-quality education.
SHRESHTA envisions creating an environment conducive to the socio-economic upliftment and holistic development of SC students while securing their future opportunities.
The scheme is structured in two modes, read the press release. SHRESHTA Schools (Best CBSE/State Board Affiliated Private Residential Schools): Under this mode, a specific number of meritorious SC students from States/Union Territories are selected through the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS), conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
These selected students are admitted to the best private residential schools affiliated with CBSE/State Boards in the 9th and 11th grades, enabling them to complete their education up to the 12th standard.
The selection process involves identifying the best-performing CBSE-based private residential schools with over 75per cent pass percentage for the past three years.
Approximately 3000 SC students with parents’ annual income up to 2.5 lakh are chosen annually based on their merit.
The scheme covers the entire fee for each student, including school fees (tuition fees) and hostel fees (mess charges). Admissible fees for each class are specified as follows- 9th: Rs 1,00,000, 10th: Rs 1,10,000, 11th: Rs 1,25,000, 12th: Rs 1,35,000, read the press release.
The scheme also incorporates a bridge course within the selected schools, targeting the individual academic requirements of students and aiding their adjustment to the school environment. The cost of the bridge course, equivalent to 10per cent of the annual fee, is also covered by the Department. The Ministry will regularly monitor the students’ progress.
Second, NGO/VO Operated Schools/Hostels (EXISTING COMPONENT)- This mode applies specifically to schools and hostels run by voluntary organisations (VOs) and NGOs, offering education up to class 12, read the release.
Schools and hostels receiving grant-in-aid and demonstrating satisfactory performance will continue to benefit under this mode.
Grants under this scheme are provided to cover school fees and residential charges for SC students admitted to these schools, read the release.
The grant amount per SC student is specified based on applicable guidelines.
The SHRESHTA scheme signifies the Government’s commitment to ensuring quality education and holistic development opportunities for SC students.
By bridging service gaps and promoting educational excellence, it aims to empower SC students and facilitate their socio-economic progress.
(with inputs from ANI)