''I feel very proud to announce that the dropout rate, which was more than 50 per cent just five years ago, has now come down to three per cent, thanks to the Kanya Kelavani scheme,'' Mr.Modi said and expressed optimism that the state would record zero dropout by 2010 when Gujarat would be celebrating its golden jubilee.
Giving away cash awards of Rs 68 lakhs to 3,853 meritorious girl students of all tehsils in the district at a special function organised at Padra, about 20 km from here, the Chief Minister came down heavily on the previous Congress government for imposing a blanket ban on recruitment of teachers for 10-long years and allowing primary schools to come up without basic facilities like toilet, that had resulted in more dropouts.
''Our government had appointed 1,00,000 Vidhya Sahayaks across the state to provide proper and quality education to the students, he added.
Modi said his government would provide all help and assistance to girl students, who excell not only in the field of education, but also in sports and other activities.
He claimed that during the last five years, the number of educational institutions in the state had been doubled and two ITI colleges were opened exclusively for girl students considering the significance of technical education for them.
Expressing hope that Gujarat would rank number one in the country in the field of education, the Chief Minister said his government had increased seats in various technical and engineering institutions from 13,000 in 2002 to 52,000 seats in 2007.