The Uttar Pradesh government is set to launch Atal Residential Schools, named after the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to provide free education and accommodation to children from classes 6 to 12. These schools aim to offer educational opportunities to children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, including those orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To secure admission in one of the 18 schools in each administrative division, students will need to clear an entrance exam. The academic session for class 6 will commence in July, managed by the Uttar Pradesh labor department. Eligibility for admission includes children of parents holding e-shramik cards for at least three years and registered with the Uttar Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (UPBOCW). Children who have lost their parents to COVID-19 are also eligible. Only children born between May 1, 2010, and April 30, 2013, are eligible for admission to Class 6 in these schools. The government has set a provision to admit a maximum of two children from a family.
The objective behind establishing these schools is to ensure the overall development of children from registered laborer families, enabling them to join the mainstream and create a better future for themselves and their families. The schools will follow the CBSE curriculum and operate similar to Navodaya Vidyalayas. Each school will have approximately 10 sanctioned teaching positions. The recruitment process for teachers is underway, and appointment letters will be issued soon.
While construction of 16 out of the proposed 18 schools is almost complete, the schools in Moradabad and Bareilly are facing delays. However, these delays will not impact the admission process, as temporary arrangements will be made for students in these two locations.
The newly constructed Atal school in Lucknow spans 17 acres and boasts separate hostels for boys and girls, an academic block, a mess, teachers’ quarters, and the principal’s residence. The school provides a conducive environment for teaching and learning. One parent, Raghunath Verma, a mason registered with UPBOCW, has already submitted admission forms for two of his four children, hoping to provide them with quality education at the Atal Residential School.
In Prayagraj, the Atal Residential School has been constructed in Belhat village, offering free education and accommodation to deserving students. The admission forms for the entrance exam are available free of cost at regional offices of the Labor department.
The establishment of these Atal residential schools was announced in 2019 by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a tribute to the late Prime Minister Vajpayee. In addition to free education and lodging, students will receive free uniforms, books, and bags, further reducing the financial burden on their families. These schools aim to bridge the educational gap and empower children from marginalized backgrounds, paving the way for a brighter future.