Government schools in the State can expect a refurbished look and connect with digital teaching platforms, what with the government announcing a new education scheme with an outlay of ₹ 4,000 crore.
The scheme to be implemented over the next two years will see construction of new buildings, repairs to the existing ones, improving of sanitation facilities, provision of furniture and other necessary amenities. An amount of ₹ 2,000 crore would be spent this year on this scheme, Finance Minister T. Harish Rao said.
Revealing the new scheme in the budget speech on Thursday, he said modern technology will be used to put classrooms on digital platforms, indicating that schools will be equipped with Internet while classrooms will have digital boards replacing the black boards. The budget saw an increased outlay for this year with ₹ 11,735 crore proposed to be spent in 2021-22 for school education while ₹ 1,873 crore was allocated for higher education. The allocations are higher compared to previous year when school education was given ₹ 10,421 crore and ₹ 1,723 crore was earmarked for higher education.
Stating that the government had made rapid progress in the education sector since the formation of Telangana, he said the Residential Schools have carved a place in the hearts of parents who are now preferring them over private schools. The number of residential schools saw a manifold increase to 970 now from 298 in 2014 for SC, ST, BC and minority students. There is no increase, however, in the general residential schools. As per the 2019-20 data, there are 4,29,696 students pursuing education and the government was spending about ₹ 1 lakh on each student.
Social Welfare Residential Institutions increased from 134 to 268; Tribal Welfare Residential Institutions from 96 to 133; Minority Welfare Residential Institutions from 12 to 204 and BC Welfare (Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Residential Educational Institutions) from 19 to 281. This is the commitment of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao towards the educationally backward classes, he argued.
The government has also provided financial assistance up to ₹ 20 lakh to students from marginalised and minority communities to pursue their higher education abroad. During the year 2020-21, he said 36 SC students received ₹ 10 crore; 167 ST students received ₹ 26 crore; 141 BC students received ₹ 14.7 crore and 250 minority students received ₹ 41.7 crore.