Assam’s ‘Tea-Garden Schools’: Over 100 educational institutions to be constructed

Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma marked the beginning of the construction of 119 Model Education Schools by laying the foundation stones for schools in Biswanath Chariali and Rangapara on Sunday.

Dr. Sarma also laid foundation stones for Model High Schools at Tezpur Ghagra, Rupajuli and Sonajuli tea gardens in Rangapara constituency.

The Assam government had announced that it would build 119 high schools at tea gardens across the state in a bid to improve the literacy rate and reduce dropout rate in the tea-garden community.

Himanta Biswa Sarma called it “one of the biggest education infrastructure creation in the tea estates of Assam in the post-independence era.”

“Each school would cost around ₹ 1.50 crore and in total, the state government would be spending ₹ 300 crore on this project. We want to empower the tea tribe,” Dr. Sarma added.

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The Assam government has also said that 10 per cent seats in government colleges in tea garden belts will be reserved.

“It felt bad to see that after over 70 years of Independence, inside the tea gardens, in the labour lines, there were no roads, no high schools. Women folk did not have bank accounts. Now over 7 lakhs tea garden workers have been brought under financial inclusion through Jan Dhan accounts,” Mr Sarma had said earlier.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has reached out to a sizable tea tribe community of Assam with the promise of developing educational infrastructure in tea gardens, ahead of next year’s assembly election.

Addressing the party’s tea tribe wing meeting in Jorhat, Mr Sarma said that it is time to recognize the tea tribe as “proud Assamese”.

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