Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated the Odisha Adarsh Vidyalaya (model school) project at Hinjili block, which is part of his Assembly constituency.

Describing the occasion as “historic”, Naveen said model schools would fulfil the aspirations of the rural students for quality education. “There is no need for rural students to go to cities to study in English-medium schools now,” he said.

As many as 100 model schools started functioning in 14 districts from Monday. These schools will have infrastructure and facilities on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas. The medium of teaching will be English and schools will be affiliated to the CBSE. The schools will run under the aegis of Odisha Adarsh Vidyalaya Sanghathan on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan. The purpose of the project is to enable students from the state to successfully take part in the all-India examinations.

 Official sources said that of the 88,000 students who had sought admission, 24,000 students have been selected for enrolment in the 100 schools this year. Fifty per cent seats are reserved for girls. The government plans to have at least one such school in all the 314 blocks in the state by 2019.

Work is in progress to develop infrastructure at Sasana Ambagaon School from where Naveen launched the project. Hostels and science laboratories are being built. At these schools, emphasis will be given on information technology-enabled teaching. The school has been constructed on five acres at a cost of Rs 2.65 crore on the Ankuspur-Ralaba Road, about 30km from here.

“Classes VI, VII and VIII with two sections in each began yesterday. Of the total capacity of 240, only 183 students have taken admission in this session,” said the principal in-charge-cum-block education officer, Hinjili, Keshablal Naik.

“More than 70 per cent work on the hostel is complete. We will accommodate girl students in the first phase”, Keshablal said.

Sugyani Sethi, a student of Class VIII, said she was happy with her admission to the Sasana Ambagaon Model School. “I had a dream to study in an English-medium school but my parents could not afford it. I feel proud to be a student here,” she said.

“As many as 184 students took admission this year. There are 67 students in Class VI, including 43 girls, 54 students in Class VII, including 30 girls and 63 students in Class VIII, including 39 girls. Out of eight teachers, seven are women. Only the physical education teacher is male,” said Pabitra Mohan Sahu, in-charge principal and the block education officer of Rangeilunda.

“Our students are mostly from Chatrapur, Kukudakhandi, Berhampur and Rangeilunda. But from the next academic session, the admission to this model school in Karapalli would be limited only to Rangeilunda block. The hostel, which is under construction with 70 per cent of the work complete, will accommodate girl students,” he said.

Naveen’s ministerial colleagues visited other districts of the state to inaugurate model schools in those areas.