Srinagar:Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar today said that Government has taken several steps aimed at revolutionizing the education sector by way of training teachers, opening of model schools, starting of evening classes and rationalizing of school system in the state.
The Minister was replying to the discussion on demand of grants for Education, Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports Departments in the house today.
The Minister said that during the ten years period from 2005-2015 the state spent Rs 40,000 crore on education sector with very little returns. But now we will spend to get returns from the investments by way of increase in quality of education and production of skilled human resource capital, he further added.
Terming low learning levels and ill competence as two main challenges, the Education Minister said that steps are afoot to address both the issues. He said that in spite of having access to Rs 9000 crore under SSA during the last six years, the state utilized only Rs 5500 crore. Similarly the state could only spend Rs 540 crore during the last five years despite having access to Rs 1750 crore under RMSA. He said that now the work is on to streamline the system so that every penny available is spent with better returns.
The Minister said that the Government is also working to address the shortage of specialist teachers by getting the service of volunteers from outside the state and foreign universities. The department has also signed MOU with British Council as part of efforts to strengthen the teaching of English language in the Government schools, he said.
He said that witnessing the initiatives, Centre has also approved new schemes with revised costs which were otherwise stopped. He said that Government is now working on establishing Girls Hostels at a revised cost of Rs 3 crore besides computerization process in all schools has been undertaken.
The Minister also assured the House that 220 schools that were approved to be made as Model Schools in 2010 would be now completed by ending July of current year. He said these model schools would have all modern teaching facilities besides smart classes and computers.
Regarding vocational training in schools, the Minister said that the Department has signed an MOU with Skill Development Corporation of India for starting such courses in 112 educational institutes.
The minister said that earlier Baramulla town had 27 schools with 102 teachers and 700 students, now the same have been clubbed into five schools. The result has been that the roll in a single school has gone up from 60 to 300 children within a year, he said. Another mission had been de-walling process, wherein the adjacent schools have been clubbed together to provide maximum facilities and judiciously use the assets. The Minister however added that incase the need is felt that some schools needed to be de-clubbed, the same will be done.
He said that Government has also checked absenteeism in Government schools and biometric attendance has been started in all high schools and higher secondary schools. He said that screening test of ReTs is going on in full swing and the salary of same will be released soon.
The Minister said that this year 14 children from Government schools secured position among 20 positions. The Department is also working on securing entire data of all schools in the state and the same will be put online soon, he said.
Regarding Super 50 coaching programme, the Minister said that 1.60 lakh students got free tuition in Government schools in Kashmir Division besides 26000 students have been enrolled in Jammu till date in the similar initiative. He said that around 45 students from these programmes have qualified for various competitive examinations like IIT, JEE.
The Minister said that Government is also working hard to provide better higher education facilities. He said that two cluster universities in Jammu and Srinagar have been approved and 124 teaching posts have been created.
The Minister said that the start of evening classes at Kashmir University have opened up 1500 more seats where new students were accommodated for post graduation degrees.
He said that construction works of 9 polytechnics and 13 college buildings would be completed this year.
The Minister said that Physical Education is also among the priorities of Government. We have got Rs 200 crore from Prime Ministers Package for promoting sports activities and creating infrastructure, said Akhtar.
In addition to it, funds are also available from other schemes for development of sports infrastructure in the State.
Later, the House passed the grants of Education, Technical Education, Youth Services and Sports Council and Art & Culture, for the year 2016-17, which were moved by the Minister, amounting to Rs 8700.48 crore with voice vote.
The members, who moved the Cut Motions on the Grants, withdrew after the satisfactory reply from the Minister.
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