Directorate of Mass Education Extension

    For the implementation of the programmes on Adult Education, on-Formal Education and other branches of education as set out during the creation of the Mass Education Extension Department it was decided that a separate Directorate of Mass Education Extension with independent status directly under the said Department of Mass Education Extension would be set up by merging the Directorate of School Education which was so long entrusted with the task of implementation of all programmes relating to Non-formal Education of the 9-14 age-group children and State Welfare Homes and allied matters and that part of the Directorate of Public Instruction having programme responsibility for implementation of the audio-visual education component and social education not connected with the higher education as well as that part of the Technical Education of the disabled children. Thus the Directorate of Mass Education Extension merging the different components as mentioned came into being in the year 1989, i.e., the year after the creation of the Department itself.

    Achievements of this Department are also reflected in the development and expansion of State Welfare homes as well as State aided Social Welfare homes for children and aided Destitute Welfare Homes for Girls above 18 years age.

    In order to impart education to adult learners there is a scheme of Adult High School in the State. At present 14 Adult High Schools are functioning in the State.

    For providing vocational training, in particular, to marginalized segments, the Shramik Vidyapith, Kolkata at 56A, B.T. Road, Kolkata-50 was established almost three decades back. The institution runs training programme in different trades and the number of courses have increased during this period considerably.

    Apart from this there are two institutions, viz. People’s (Janata) College at Banipur, North 24 Parganas and People’s (Janata) College at Kalimpong for imparting professional training in librarianship.

    The Directorate of Mass Education Extension is entrusted with the responsibilities of carrying out the following activities:

    • Education and training for the children with special needs :
    • Of all the programmes implemented under the auspices of the Department of Mass Education Extension and Library Services, the programme for education and training for the children with special needs occupies the centre stage. This Directorate extends support to those Non-government organisations, which come forward to take care of the education need of differently-abled students. In consonance with the provision of the PWD Act, 2016 and the relevant rules it is envisaged to expand the network of the existing schooling and hostel facilities for the children with special needs (Visual and Hearing  impairments and the children suffering from Mental Retardation). Recognition is given to those organisations, for running the Institution which obey specific Govt. rules and regulations.

      The number of  Sponsored Special School under the control of this Department is 74 wherein 5544 numbers of students are scattered in different districts of the State. The present strength in Recognized Institutions is 4582. The State Government has given due consideration for coverage of more differently-abled children under its special schooling network. The State Government lays also emphasis on qualitative improvement of teaching in the schools through targeted interventions. Strengthening of infrastructural facilities of special schools to suit the specific requirements of the students including provisions of musical instruments, hearing aids, transport facilities, handicrafts and other equipments is priority in this sector.

      Development of facilities of  both indoor and outdoor games, felicitation for extra ordinary performances in academic and extra-curricular activities etc. of the students with special needs is also in focus areas. The students are provided with school shoes, school bags, festival and winter garments. Convergence with the School Education Department in respect of free text book distribution, free  mid-day meal among the students in special schools has been set-up. Arrangement for availing free health checkup of the students of sponsored special schools has been made with the Health Department and local Hospitals. Endeavors are taken to upgrade the deserving schools from primary to upper primary and from upper primary to secondary standard. During the FY 2021-2022 budget allocation of Rs.979 lakh has been proposed in the Budget.

    • Welfare Homes :
    • In keeping with the policy framework of the Government for coverage of large numbers of children under the social safety net, the State Government’s efforts are on to strengthen the infrastructure facilities of the existing 50 units of Social Welfare Homes of the State of which 10 are State run, 1 is sponsored by the State Government and 39 are Government aided. The main purpose behind running the Welfare Homes under the Directorate of Mass Education Extension is to provide social security and education to children, who come from socially and economically marginalized sections of the society and who are incapable of arranging their basic needs. Apart from providing food, shelter and other basic necessities to the inmates of these Homes, education is imparted up to Higher Secondary level. The inmates, who attain 18 years of age or pass out the Higher Secondary examination (whichever is earlier), are kept in these Homes.

      Presently, there are 5200 inmates residing at Welfare Homes. Maintenance grant @ Rs.1600/- per inmate per month is provided to the inmates of the Homes. Also the inmates get school bags, school shoes, festival garments and winter garments. One-time grants are given to the authorities of  Social Welfare Homes run by NGO. This apart, fund for conducting educational tour, sports are provided to the authorities of Social Welfare Homes. Every year the mega event of Sports & Cultural Meet is held at State level after completion of the competitions amongst the inmates at districts and zonal level of all welfare homes. Efforts will be taken for enhancement of existing rate of maintenance grant of inmate of Rs.1600/- to Rs.2200/- per month per inmate. Framing of new policy to affiliate more aided Welfare Homes; enhancement of sanctioned strength of inmates of welfare homes will be initiated during this FY. Initiation of construction work of new building on the allotted land at Barrackpore, North 24 Pgs for the State Welfare Home (for girl inmates) which was accommodated at Dhanyakuria will be taken up. The process for setting up of  new State Welfare Home at Gopalpur, Purulia II Block, in the district of Purulia will be undertaken. To provide vocational training for the inmates of  Welfare Homes is a focused area under the sector. Convergence with the Deptt. of Technical Education, Training & Skill Development for training of the inmates in the Govt. colleges of  IITs, ITCs and Junior Polytechnic is being taken up during the FY. In the current FY 2021-2022 an amount of Rs.2100 lakh is proposed in this sector.

    • Literacy Programme :
    • In the financial year 2021-2022, the scheme under literacy in a new format, if taken up by the Government of India will be implemented subject to the approval of State Govt. with the firm commitment to achieve the desired goal. This apart from different programs for awareness campaign for eradication of illiteracy, observance of International Literacy Day will be organized. The proposed budget under this head for 2021-2022 for implementation of different programmes under literacy schemes is Rs.1350 lakh (including share of Central assistance).

    • Shramik Vidyapith :
    • The aim of Shramik Vidyapith is to provide Vocational Training for skill development leading to job opportunities and self-employment. The target group constitutes the dependent children of workers in the organized and unorganized sectors, who are literate, unemployed and above 15 years of age. Vocational training courses of different trades are conducted free of cost. Short term vocational training courses in different trades would be conducted after the present pandemic situation of COVID – 19.

    • Janata College :
    • The colleges are located at Banipur, North 24-Parganas and Kalimpong. The colleges conduct short term vocational training courses in different trades.

    • Scholarship to the students with special need :
    • Disabled students of class IX onwards are given scholarship under this programme. Those who score 40% marks in the last examination and whose family income is not more than Rs. 2 lakh per year, are provided with such scholarships. In the year 2021-2022, Rs.420 lakh has been proposed in the budget for awarding scholarship to eligible students with special need.

    • One Time Grant :
    • Financial assistance is given to non-sponsored, non-recognised Institutions for students with disabilities and Welfare Home for destitute children. Institutions having 10-50 students are given an assistance ofRs.75000/- and Institutions having more than 50 students are given assistance of Rs.1,50,000/-.

    • Felicitation :
    • Disabled students of Special Schools and students of  Welfare Homes, who perform well in the Madhyamik or Higher Secondary examination of the year concerned, are felicitated to encourage their efforts. The students who excelled in the said exams are felicitated in the programme to be organized at the district level.

    • Strengthening of Administrative Structure :
    • The scheme/(s) for strengthening of administrative structure at state head quarter and district offices will be taken up. The proposed budget for the purpose for 2021-2022 is Rs.252 lakh.

      Total Budget for Rs.5100 lakh has been proposed for the Financial Year 2021-2022 for implementation of different schemes/ programmes pertaining to the Mass Education Extension Directorate and that has been allocated provisionally in different Heads of Accounts under Demand No.14.