Chitra V. Ramani
Budget lays emphasis on setting up teacher training schools Rs. 700 crore earmarked for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Bangalore: The State Government in its budget has proposed extension of the midday meal and Vidya Vikas schemes up to tenth standard for government and aided schools. More than 17.18 lakh students are expected to benefit from it.
The budget lays emphasis on establishing teacher training schools, apart from recruiting teachers. Schools that began functioning from 1993-94 would be eligible for the achievement-based grants for which Rs. 50 crore has been earmarked. The Government has also extended grant-in-aid to primary and secondary schools that were started by general managements up to 1993-94. Earlier, only schools under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe managements were able to avail themselves of the facility.
G.S. Sharma, president of Karnataka (Recognised) Unaided Schools Managements' Association, complimented the Government for extending the grant-in-aid to primary and secondary schools. "Most of the schools in the rural areas are run by B.Ed. graduates, which suffer from financial crunch. Support for such schools, similar to the that proposed by the Government, will go a long way."
He said that exhibition and execution were different aspects. "We have to wait and see how best the schemes are implemented."
The primary and secondary education sector in the State has made "significant progress towards achieving universalisation of access and participation in elementary education," Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said in the budget.
He has earmarked Rs. 700 crore for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is a Union Government sponsored scheme. Earlier, the share of the State Government was 25 per cent. However, from 2007-08, the State's share of the cost of the programme has been increased to 50 per cent.
L.K. Atheeq, Programme Director, SSA, said that the State Government had urged the Centre to revert to the earlier sharing scheme. He said that 33 per cent of the allocated funds would be used for civil works such as construction of rooms in schools.