Ensuring quality education for SC students: Shreshta to get going

Scheme for Residential Education for Students in Targeted Areas, or Shreshta, to provide access to quality education for SC students

It is common knowledge that students from the Scheduled Caste communities have, for long, subjected to inequality and have been kept out of quality education. Such a situation has brought in disadvantages galore. In this context, the government’s efforts aimed at offering educational facilities without discrimination had become imperative.

However, the objective of providing access to quality education that provides a level playing field has still remained far from reality. In such a scenario, providing quality education and opportunities for even the poorest students from the Scheduled Castes, as per the Constitutional mandate, had become a must. This has now been addressed with the launch of a new scheme christened Scheme for Residential Education for Students in Targeted Areas (Shreshta).

3k students from states, UTs to be picked for Shreshta

The Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas was conceived to provide access to high quality residential education to the meritorious poor students from Scheduled Caste communities, whose parental annual income is up to Rs. 2.5 Lakh per annum, at free of cost from class 9th to class 12th

As per the scheme, each year close to 3000 meritorious SC students from various states and Union Territories would be selected through a transparent mechanism of a National Entrance Test for Shreshta (NETS), conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Selected students will be admitted in the Best Private Residential Schools, affiliated by CBSE, in classes 9th and 11th for completion of education till 12th standard.

Post this, students would be linked to post metric scholarship scheme or the top-class education scheme formulated under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, so as to help them continue their further studies with adequate financial aid from the government.

Best performing private residential schools to be selected

The Ministry, through a committee with the representative of Ministry of Education and CBSE and Finance Division of the Department, will also select the best performing private residential schools affiliated with the CBSE , based on certain parameters such as, schools are in existence for at least for last five years; board results of the schools are more than 75 percent in Class 10 and 12 for the last three years;  and that, schools have adequate infrastructure for admitting additional at SC students in classes 9th and 11th .

Much effort has also been taken towards ensuring the quality of students in the scheme. As per this move, students would be picked based on All India Entrance Examination from the National Testing Agency, which conducts all major exams including JEE / NEET and selection of employee for the government through SSC and others

. Selected students would be offered the best private residential schools across the country to pursue their academics, as per their choice through e-counselling.

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