The DMK government on Friday made two major announcements benefiting government school students -- it would provide a monthly assistance of ₹1,000 to all girl students, who studied from Class 6 to 12 in government schools, until the completion of their graduation or diploma and it would also bear the education expenses of both boys and girls from these schools if they obtained an admission into the undergraduate programmes in premier institutions like IIT, AIIMS and IISc.
The monthly sum of ₹1,000 would be remitted into their bank accounts till the uninterrupted completion of their undergraduate degree, diploma and ITI courses, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said while presenting the budget for 2022-23 in the Assembly.
Recognising that the enrolment ratio of girl students from government schools in higher education was very low, the Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Memorial Marriage Assistance Scheme had been transformed as the Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Higher Education Assurance Scheme. The students would be eligible for this in addition to other scholarships, he clarified and said: “Through this programme, approximately 6 lakh girl students can potentially benefit each year. For this new scheme, an amount of ₹698 crore has been allotted in this budget.”
To motivate government school students to aspire to join premier higher education institutions, the government would bear the full cost of their undergraduate education. “The students who have studied in government schools from Classes 6 to 12 will be eligible to avail this assistance,” Mr. Rajan said.
Under a new scheme titled ‘Perasiriyar Anbazhagan School Development Scheme’ (named after former Education Minister and DMK stalwart K. Anbazhagan) to modernise government schools over the next five years, 18,000 new classrooms would be constructed. A sum of ₹7,000 crore would be allocated for the phased implementation of this scheme over the next five years and a sum of ₹1,300 crore would be allocated for coming financial year. Model schools would also be established in 15 more districts in the coming financial year and a sum of ₹125 crore had been allocated for the purpose.
Illam Thedi Kalvi, the flagship remedial education programme to bridge the learning losses among children due to closure of schools during the pandemic, would be continued in the next year with a budgetary allocation of ₹200 crore.
The Tamil Nadu government would develop a ‘Knowledge City’ through international collaboration, which would have branches of world-renowned universities with research and development hubs, skill training centres and knowledge-based enterprises. Over the next five years, a special scheme would be implemented by the Higher Education Department to create new classrooms, hostels, laboratories and smart classrooms at a total cost of ₹1,000 crore.
An amount of ₹204 crore had been allocated towards the reimbursement of fees for the government school students who joined professional courses under 7.5% preferential allotment. An allocation of ₹5,668 crore had been made to the Higher Education Department in the budget, said Mr. Rajan.