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Gandhinagar, Friday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today made a fervent appeal to the people of Gujarat to rise above petty politics and unnecessary debate and consolidate the gains of success achieved in the field of primary education over the last one dacade,

Mr. Modi said that the state has traversed a long way from the age-old pathetic state of education. When he took charge in 2001, he recalled, the state ranked 20th in the field of primary education. Describing the earlier situation as unfortunate, he said, it has now changed with people's awareness towards the need for a change and their efforts to make a success of the twin Kanya Kelavni and Shala Praveshotsa campaigns being held for the ninth consecutive year since 2003.

He said the twin campaigns have helped increase enrolment, reduce dropout rates and also encourage girl students excel in education as well as in sports and cultural activities.

Had the rulers in post-Independence era paid the same importance to education then, he said, India would have been a leading nation in the world long back. They just ignored successive future generations in their greater concern for the chair.

He was addressing a series of meetings on the second day of the campaigns during his visit to Mauza, Rundha and Mokhdi villages in the Valia taluka of Bharuch. He is scheduled to visit Sardarpur (Chikna), Ranpur ad Talegad villages in Satlasna taluka in Mehsana district on the third day of the campaign on Saturday. On the first day, he had covered Varal, Tana and Jambala villages in Sihor taluka in Bhavnagar district on Thursday.

The Chief Minister himself distributed books, kits and toys to the tiny tots in the primary schools and balwadis (crèches) in these villages.

Comparing the process of teaching to farming, he said that just as tilling the field is essential before sowing values are best imparted during a child's formative years at the pre-school stage itself. He said education comes handy as the best means to remove poverty, too.

As to why tribal students continued to be behind others in the field of education with seats for them in engineering and medical colleges going begging, he said, there used be no facility for science in schools preparing them for the big leap. The government has started at least one higher secondary school with science stream in each taluka under Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna.

Prominent among those present at these meeting were Lok Sabha Member Mansukhbhai Vasava and Rajya Sabha Member Bharatsinh Parmar.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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