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Gandhinagar, Saturday: In a bid to make learning interesting, particularly in villages, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today called upon every school to celebrate its foundation day as well as the birthdays of each and every student.

Speaking at Paroli, Farod and Lalpuri villages deep inside the forests in the Goghambha taluka of Panchmahals district on the concluding day of the three-day annual Shala Praveshotsav, he said the schools should also encourage yoga, sports and games like chess, and inculcate the habit of reading among young minds.

And, of course, it being the inaugural day, 107 children were given treat like never before, showered with sweets and chocolates, besides colourful bags, textbooks, notebooks, pencil and uniform. Another 29 tiny toddlers admitted to pre-school ‘anganwadis' were presented toys.

Talking about the aims and objectives of the annual school enrollment campaign started eight years back, Mr. Modi said the dropout rate in primary schools have been reduced from 41% to 2%. He said the campaign has taken the form of a social revolution of sorts, with tangible results like near cent percent enrollment.

However, he regretted that precious little was done in the past in this direction. The Paroli school is 145-year-old, but 55 per cent of women in the village were still illiterate.

The Chief Minister also presented books as prizes to children who topped in the Standard III to VI examinations. He inspected the nearby anganwadis and mid-day meal centres.

As per the information available for the first two days of the special drive 347,416 students were enrolled in Standard-I and 4,044 in ‘anganwdis'. People donated over Rs.2.83-crore in cash and kind to schools. Rajgarh legislator Fatehsinh Chauhan today gave a cheque of Rs.11,151 to Kanya Kelavni Fund.

Along with Shala Praveshotsav, the Gujarat Government also observed ‘Kanya Kelavni' special drive to enroll girl child and ‘Gunotsav' under which 12-lakh weaker students were helped to improve their performance. Meanwhile, Gunotsav has come in for praise by the UNESCO, too.
 
Commissionerate of Information, Gujarat
 
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