The Public Education Rejuvenation Mission is an excellent participatory development model that Kerala is presenting before the world, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday.
Mr. Vijayan was speaking after declaring the State’s public education sector as the first to go completely digital and announcing the completion of high-tech classroom and hi-tech lab projects in government and aided schools.
Kerala succeeded in ushering in major reforms in public education when governments all over the world were gradually withdrawing from public facilities. The step taken by the State would benefit future generations, Mr. Vijayan said.
He said that the credit for the achievement belonged to the entire State and not just the LDF government. ''The Public Education Rejuvenation Mission has drawn cooperation from all sides. We were able to transform the notion that the public education sector was in shambles. Today there is no such concern. That schools in the State have registered an increase by five lakh students over the past few years reveal how students and parents have received this initiative,'' he added.
Infrastructure facilities as well academic standards of the schools had improved in the efforts taken to raise schools in Kerala to international standards, he said. He also urged teachers to take the initiative to sustain the pace of progress achieved in the sector.
High-tech classrooms and hi-tech labs in schools were established by the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) with financial assistance from Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KIIFB). In all, 3,74,274 digital equipment were distributed to schools under the two projects carried out as part of the Public Education Rejuvenation Mission.
In the first phase, 45,000 high-tech classrooms for Classes 8 to 12 were readied in 4,752 government and aided high schools and higher secondary schools. High-tech labs were started in 11,275 primary and upper primary schools for Classes 1 to 7.
By opting for free software solutions, KITE was able to save ₹3,000 crore, the Chief Minister said.
Minister for General Education C. Raveendranath, who presided, called it a historic moment for the State and its education sector. Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan was the chief guest. Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac delivered the keynote address.