Since July of the previous year, close to 100,000 adolescent girls, aged between 11-14 years, who were identified as out-of-school under the scheme for adolescent girls (SAG), have been successfully reintegrated into the education system through the nationwide campaign ‘Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav’.
This initiative was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Education in March 2022.
According to official sources, the SAG initially covered slightly over 110 million girls in 2012-13. However, this number decreased to 930,000 in 2019. Subsequently, the Ministry of Women and Child Development conducted verification exercises to confirm the number of out-of-school girls, resulting in a decline to 500,000 in 2021 and further down to 380,000 in 2022. Finally, after thorough evaluation, the confirmed count stood at 100,000.
While the reduction in numbers indicates successful mainstreaming efforts over the years, it also highlights concerns regarding the accuracy of the initial database, possibly including ghost beneficiaries or incorrect entries. The review aimed to rectify this situation and ensure that the benefits reach the genuine beneficiaries, according to sources.
The government made revisions to the SAG scheme, shifting its focus from the 11-14 age group to the 14-18 age group. This decision was influenced by the observation that the scheme was losing effectiveness, primarily due to the success of the education system in enrolling girls in the 6th to 8th grades into formal schools and extending the benefits of compulsory education under the Right to Education Act.
In addition to addressing the nutritional requirements of the girls and monitoring their weight and height, the revised scheme will also prioritize ensuring their attendance in school and explore potential connections with skill development program.
In addition to addressing the nutritional needs of the girls and monitoring their weight and height, the scheme will also prioritize ensuring their attendance in school while exploring potential connections with skill development programs.
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