SIVASAGAR: State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma distributed scooties among female students of Sivasagar district, who secured first division in the Higher Secondary examination in 2020, at a function held at the Sivasagar Natya Mandir here on Sunday.
Six students received scooties as part of the Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award under Pragyan Bharati Scheme. Altogether 949 female students from the district were selected for the Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award, but one student died on the same day when the result was declared.
Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, while speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest, paid rich tributes to Dr Banikanta Kakati and recollected the immense contributions by the great scholar made to the Assamese society. THE minister urged the students to draw inspiration from Dr Banikanta Kakati and Anandaram Boruah, who were great scholars of the State.
The Education Minister expressed concern over the ratio of female students and male students. He said although more girls now attend schools in the State, the ratio of girls accessing higher education is less as compared to their male counterparts.
"Girls now have access to education, but they still have to undertake a long journey to secure a position at par with males in society," said the minister.
Even today, parents prefer to send their sons for higher education and marry off their daughters as they are unable to fund the education of all their children," he said.
"Many girls are married off during their teenage and they become mothers at a young age. Giving birth to several children also affects their health adversely," Sarma said.
The minister urged the parents to change their mindset and send their daughters to the colleges and university for higher education.
Stating that the Assam government waived off college fees in view of the ongoing pandemic this year to encourage students to enroll in colleges, the education minister said, "From this year, Rs 1500 will be deposited in the accounts of every newly-admitted under-graduate student for buying their books."
DrSarma also announced a Rs. 1 crore fund for renovation and infrastructure development of the century old Sivasagar Natya Mandir.
State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister (Independent charge) Jogen Mohan also participated in the distribution programme while Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tassa, Jorhat Lok Sabha MP Tapan Kumar Gogoi, Thowra MLA Kushal Duwari, Amguri MLA Pradip Hazarika, Sonari MLA Nabanita Handique, among others, attended the function.