Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) The primary education department of the Gondia Zilla Parishad in Maharashtra has planned a school enrollment drive for children on the occasion of Gudi Padwa tomorrow.

“The drive, initiated by the then Gondia district collector Dr Vijay Suryawanshi in 2015, has been a success, helping attract students to Zilla Parishad schools,” Gondia ZP education officer Ulhas Narad said.

The enrollment in the first standard in 2014-15 was 3,700 but it jumped almost three-fold to 10,120 during the academic year 2015-16 when the drive was launched, the official informed.

In 2016-17, a total of 11,952 students were admitted in the Gudi Padwa enrollment drive and around 13,000 during the academic year 2017-18, Narad said.

The education department has planned to make the awareness-cum-enrollment drive a success, he said.

Explaining the rationale behind launching the drive on Gudi Padwa, Suryawanshi, now district collector of Raigad near Mumbai, said “Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the Marathi New Year and is a good day to start such an initiative.” Suryawanshi launched this initiative in 2014 when he was the Chief Executive Officer of Kolhapur Zilla Parishad.

“All block development officers (BDOs) were instructed about the initiative and it was promoted under the slogan of ‘Gudi Padwa: Shala Pravesh Vadhva’ (increase enrollment in schools),” the IAS officer said.

“We had asked every ZP school in Kolhapur district, and later in Gondia district, to prepare a pamphlet, which would act as an advertisement. It would make parents aware of the features of schools in their vicinity,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.