Students of government-run primary and high schools and pre-university colleges can look forward to better facilities as the Department of Primary and Secondary Education is all set to provide toilets and drinking water in the institutions with assistance from the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department.

Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar told presspersons here on Friday that he had requested RDPR Minister H.K. Patil for funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to provide toilets and drinking water in schools. “The RDPR Minister has agreed to this. I have also asked all MLAs to give me a list of works worth Rs. 40 lakh each that need to be taken up on priority in schools in their constituencies. If toilets and water are provided by the RDPR Department, we can utilise Rs. 40 lakh for school repairs in every constituency in the next six months.”

The Minister said he had also written to the zilla panchayats to include infrastructure development of schools in their annual action plans. “There are 50,000 schools and we need nearly Rs. 6,000 crore for their overall upgrading,” he said. He said nearly 16,000 teachers would be recruited in the next four months. “Although there are more than 28,000 vacancies, we will recruit 16,000 teachers. While the Cabinet approved the recruitment of 11,778 teachers last year, the Chief Minister has given an oral consent for recruiting 5,000 teachers every year.”

Ordinance

To increase the cap on transfer of teacher-couples, the department was planning to amend the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Act, 2007. “We are planning to get an Ordinance promulgated, and if that is not possible, we will take it up during the Legislative session,” he said.

The process of regular transfers, however, would continue. Nearly 11,000 teachers are likely to find relief this transfer season.

Keywords: MNREGA funds

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