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Home > Campaign Update > Jharkhand

October 2008

Jan Sunwai on Right to Education of Choice

The Culmination event of the first phase of Jharkhand School Choice Campaign was held in the form of a Jan Sunwai on Friday, 3 October 2008 at the Vidhan Sabha Maidan (Birsa Chowk), Ranchi. Over 4000 people from different walks of life came for the event in buses, lorries, jeeps and by foot from all corners of Jharkhand. Delegates from six districts of the state voiced their concern over issues of access to and quality of the education of children in Jharkhand.

Srimati Rama Khalko (Mayor of Ranchi), who participated in the event, expressed serious concerns with the low literacy rate among girl children in Ranchi but was enthused by the awareness among poor parents about the need for quality education. Mr Ajaynath Sehdeo (Deputy Mayor, Ranchi), who had earlier chaired a panel discussion, and Shrimati Rama Khalko were supportive of the ‘education voucher’ idea. They both regard this as an innovative scheme that involves both the government and the parents in educating the poor children. They also expressed hope that the School Choice Campaign could be adapted to suit and overcome barriers that are specific to the Jharkhand region.

Mrs Pratibha Pandey, President, Pradesh Mahila Congress and Professors R K Jaiswal, and D K Sahai also expressed their support for the idea. Present at the event was School Choice scholar and Padmabhusan recipient Professor P V Indiresan. Professor Indiresan termed School Choice Campaign as the ‘need of the hour’.

The day also witnessed street theatre performances by School Choice advocates in various parts of the city. The event served as a bridge between the first phase of the campaign which concentrated on achieving critical mass awareness and the second phase that will employ a concrete and focused effort towards policy change. Extensive media coverage of the event was reported across the country.

Pilot Voucher Project announced for three districts of Jharkand

Following the success of the Jan Sunwai in Ranchi, the School Choice Alliance met Mr Bhandu Tirkey, Minister of Education for Jharkhand, to present the 3,08,700 signature petitions that were collected from parents during the mass campaign in Jharkhand. At that meeting, the Honorable Minister announced Pilot Voucher Project in the districts of Haz-aribagh, Chatra and Dumkha to the gathering which included the media.

After the announcement, members of the School Choice team conducted meetings with senior officials of the Education Department to expedite implementation of the projects announced by the Honorable Minister. The Jharkhand School Choice Alliance has since continuously advocated the cause with the concerned stake holders and pushed for more pilot projects, in cities such as Ranchi which are easier to monitor and assess.

January 2008

Presently Jharkhand is planning and preparing for the second phase campaign in the state. Children are being involved in the campaign. 2, 39,700 signatures have been collected so far. The campaign has reached around 3, 18,000 people through the mass campaign. 69 Block Level meetings and 25 District Level Meetings had been organized. 50 memorandums have been submitted to MLAs/MLCs and 12 memorandums have been submitted to the MPs. 17 rallies have been conducted till date. And 8 orientation programmes had been organized as well. Getting good media coverage as well for the state.

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