Guwahati: Samagra Shiksha, Assam (SSA) has issued guidelines on the procurement and distribution of uniforms for students at the elementary level for the academic year 2024-25. Free school uniforms are to be provided to all children from classes I to VIII of government or provincialized LP, UP, and composite schools by February 15.
According to the guidelines, each child is to be provided two pairs of good-quality uniforms. Out of these two pairs, one will be a normal pair. The colour, pattern, specification, etc. for the normal pair should be as per the enclosed government notification. For the second pair, one coloured T-shirt with a collar, one skirt (for girls), and a half pant (for boys). Children will wear the second pair on Saturday. Schools will choose the colour of the T-shirt and skirt/pant. The two pairs of uniforms to be provided to each child are to be within the Government of India ceiling rate of Rs. 600.
While procuring uniforms, it must be taken into consideration that the purchase and distribution of uniforms will be done in a decentralized manner through the School Management Committee/School Management Development Committee (SMC/SMDC).
SMCs and SMDCs have been asked to ensure that all children get uniforms by February 15, 2024.
A meeting of the SMC and SMDCs is to be convened to finalize the design of the uniform and prepare the order accordingly, as per the size of each child with proper measurement.
The guideline for quality control mechanisms states that, to ensure that the children get quality uniforms, quality control mechanisms are to be put in place from school to district level. A Quality Control Committee is to be constituted in each school, comprising SMC/SMDC members, teachers, and three senior citizens of the locality, to be nominated by the concerned SMC/SMDC for evaluation of the quotations received and for quality checks of the sample cloth or uniforms.
A Quality Control Committee is to be constituted at the district level with the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Education, as Chairman; the District Mission Coordinator as Member Secretary; the Quality Control Officer (Government of Assam) or his representative as a member; the Finance & Accounts Officer as a member; and the District Programme Officer, TT, as a member.
The Committee's functions will be to make random visits to schools in the district for quality checks, examine matters intimated by the Block Level Committee, and ensure timely receipt of quality uniforms by all target children in the district.
The school shall have to submit a certificate to the block mission coordinator concerned, signed by the president and member secretary of the school, certifying that the uniforms procured are as per specifications. The District Mission Coordinator will compile and verify the report, and if any deviation is detected, necessary action may be taken for replacement, etc. The compiled report should be sent to the Mission Director, Samagra Siksha Axom. Any anomaly found at the school level should be reported to the District Commissioner, DMC, and DEEO immediately. Payment should be released only after a quality check, it says.
The Utilization Certificates have to be handed over to the block accountant concerned by the SMC/SMDC within 15 days of completing the exercise and mandatorily by March 15, 2024. However, several SMCs and SMDC expressed dissatisfaction over the non-release of funds prior to ordering the uniforms.