Rs 2,600-crore plan to spruce up school amenities

Quarters for teachers among facilities proposed

Rs 2,600-crore plan to spruce up school amenities

 The State government seems to be finally waking up to the reality that schools run by it need resources and good facilities. It is considering a mega plan — of Rs 2634.15 crore — submitted by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in this respect. 

A number of works such as teachers’ quarters, mini stadia and computer centres have been proposed under the plan titled, ‘Shala Shikshana Samarasya Vidya Kendra’, a copy of whose document is with Deccan Herald. The plan aims to improve “material resources, working conditions, quality of teachers’ performance and educational processess.” 

Housing complexes for teachers within the school premises have been proposed in 800 hoblis. Each complex will have eight houses and cost about Rs 80 lakh. 

The plan also talks of identifying higher primary and high schools having large playgrounds where mini stadia can be constructed. As many as 800 such stadia have been proposed. 

The stadia will have game courts for football, cricket, kabaddi, kho kho, track and field sports, etc. An initial outlay of Rs 60 lakh is proposed for each stadium. In addition, sports equipment worth Rs two lakh will be provided. Even schools surrounding the stadium will get Rs one lakh for the same.
 As far as funding for this particular aspect of the plan is concerned, the document says: “The government, in partnership with private business organisations, NGOs and philanthropists, will implement this intervention.” 

In an age where computers and the Internet have facilitated the fast-paced growth of knowledge, the DPI does not want government schools in the State to lag behind. Its plan proposes computer learning centres in 17,000 higher primary schools at an estimated cost of Rs five lakh each. 

Each centre will cost Rs five lakh and have six computers, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) facility, internet connection, printer and a computer teacher. The scheme is expected to be implemented within five years. 

School gardens

Yet another ambitious aspect of the plan is the development of ‘exclusive gardens’ in schools that have big playgrounds. Apart from improving the ambience and environment of the schools, these gardens will serve a practical purpose — of growing fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. 

The plan also proposes borewells in schools where there are no drinking water facilities. The estimated cost of this aspect of the project is Rs 28.75 crore. A separate unit or ‘administrative monitoring cell’ at the level of every commissionerate will be set up for implementation and monitoring of the plan. 

When asked about the practicality of some of the measures, the DPI Commissioner, Mohammed Mohsin, said that many government teachers do not stay near schools where they teach. “If we provide them quarters, it will help increase their efficiency as it will ensure their assured and improved attendance in schools. This, in turn, will lead to better teaching. Similarily, the produce from the proposed kitchen gardens can also be used in midday meals,” he explained. 

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