Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that although more girls now attend schools in the state, the ratio of girls accessing higher education is less as compared to their male counterparts.
The minister said this while distributing scooters to meritorious girl students under the Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award during a function in Sivasagar on Sunday.
The minister distributed 948 scooters to meritorious girl students to facilitate their journey to college so that their education is not hampered.
Girls who secured the first division in the higher secondary (HS) final exams conducted by Assam Higher Secondary Education Council in 2020 will receive the two-wheelers.
“Girls now have access to education, but they still have to go a long way to go to secure a position at par with males in society,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Even today, parents prefer to send their sons for higher education and marry off their daughters if they are unable to fund the education of all their children,” he said.
The minister said that the mindset of parents should change and they should instead prefer to send their daughters to the university for higher education and engage their sons in other work.
“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.
“They are also unable to pursue their education because of mounting family responsibilities,” he added.
The Assam government waived off college fees in view of the ongoing pandemic this year to encourage students to enroll in colleges.
“Over 4.80 lakh students enrolled in colleges this year after our government waived off the college fees,” the education minister said.
The state government would spend funds worth Rs 144 crores to provide 22,250 scooters to meritorious girl students under the Dr Banikanta Kakati Merit Award of Pragyan Bharati scheme.