The tea gardens of Assam will soon get access to high schools. Deprived of even basic education since pre-independence time, the introduction of high schools will give over lakh students access to education up to Class 10th.
The education department has decided to open high schools in 119 tea gardens of the state. So far the tea gardens having schools have classes only up to Class 7 or Middle School level.
Making the announcement at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati, education minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said that establishing high schools in the tea gardens will give many, an access to quality education.
"Till date, our tea gardens have schools up to Class 7 or Middle School, after completing Middle School they need to go to another school in a far off area outside the tea garden. But now they will get education at doorsteps," Dr Sarma said.
The High Schools will be built at a cost of Rs. 1.19 crore per school. The minister also added that local youths will be given preference to participate in the construction of these schools.
Meanwhile, people from the Tea sector have also welcomed the move by the State government. Speaking to Republic Media Network, Biju Gogoi, a local tea planter in Dibrugarh district lauded the initiative taken by the State government. He said, "In the tea gardens, you will see many school dropouts. This is basically because of the unavailability of schools in the area to pursue further studies. The efforts of the government will help in bringing down the number of school dropouts."
It may be mentioned that the quality of living in the tea gardens of the State are very poor. Plagued by many social and economic issues, the tea tribes with an estimated population of around 70 lakhs have been still struggling to get their voices heard. The announcement by the State government to establish High Schools in the tea gardens, will hopefully open up the doors of a bright future to over 1 lakh students.