Sarvesh Kaushal, Chief Secretary Punjab today asked the Education Department to focus on 100% utilization of funds under various flagship programmes of the Department and also to improve the focus on inclusive education for disabled in all the schools of the State. This was discussed during the Executive Committee meeting of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik SHiksha Abhiyan of Education Department chaired by Chief Secretary Punjab.
During the Executive Committee meeting of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Principal Secretary School Education informed Chief Secretary that for the year 2014-15, Rs. 643 crore was utilized by the State under this scheme in teachers’ salaries, provision of uniforms, school grants, civil works and other components. For the year 2015-16, the total outlay of the scheme is Rs. 984 crores which will be utilized in upgradation of school infrastructure, construction of hostels, provision of free textbooks, uniforms, inclusive education etc. Major components of the schemes include Rs. 207 crores for infrastructure creation and upgradation in schools, Rs. 65.85 crores on provision of school uniforms to students, Rs. 25.88 crores on school grants, Rs. 17 crore on inclusive education etc. Chief Secretary asked Education Department to focus on 100% utilization of funds, standardize the school uniforms in centralized manner, maintain the proper record of child tracking, improve the Pupil Teacher ratio and to improve the students’ attendance in the Schools. Chief Secretary also stressed that Department should make a special focus on inclusive education for disabled by encouraging its current teachers to learn special language to effectively teach the disabled students. Under SSA, Rs. 2250 per child will be spent on non-residential special training to out of school children of age 7-14 years and Rs. 18255 per child on 11 months residential special training for out of school children of difficult circumstances for 2 districts Bathinda and Jalandhar. To improve the quality of computer education in the schools, computer labs in 133 new schools will be established with cost of Rs. 2.66 crores and under this scheme, multimedia devices shall be provided to schools through which educational content will be taught. Further the complete performance measurement process of the schools will also be automated through a web based software. Chief Secretary directed the Education Department to focus on overall development of the students including academics, sports and extracurricular activities.
During the Executive Committee meeting of RMSA programme, Chief Secretary was informed that in the year 2014-15, Rs. 134 crore was utilized for construction of new schools, girls hostels, computer labs, vocational education, book fair, self-defence training etc. Chief Secretary reviewed in detail the civil works of major projects and asked the department to adhere to the timelines and expedite the projects completion. Chief Secretary was further informed that for the year 2015-16, Rs. 348.95 crore has been approved under this scheme which will be utilized in upgradation and strengthening of 126 schools, provision of additional classrooms, science labs, upgradation of libraries, Teachers training, organizing fairs, inclusive education for disabled, establishment of ICT labs, construction of Girls hostels etc. CS reiterated that the schools for special initiatives should be selected completely on merit and results basis so that the best schools in the State get the best teaching infrastructure.
During the State Steering cum Monitoring Committee meeting of the mid-day meal scheme, Chief Secretary was informed that Rs. 294.75 crore will be spent on this scheme which will be spent on food grains, cooks, transportation, kitchen devices etc. Chief Secretary asked the department to monitor the value of nutrients being given to children in the schools and ensure the food is prepared in hygienic conditions. He also asked Department of health to do the health check-ups of the students twice a year and also upload the data online for better monitoring at headquarters.
Chief Secretary also chaired the Executive Committee meeting of EDUSAT and Board of Governor meeting of PICTES. The working of EDUSAT programme and also Punjab Information & Communication Technology Education Society (PICTES) was discussed during these meetings and it was decided that basic computer education should be introduced at very early level in the school curriculum and all the books should be available online for the students. The meeting was attended by Mr. C Roul, Principal Secretary School Education, Mr. D P Reddy, Principal Secretary Finance, Mr. Hussan Lal, Secretary Health, Mr. Pardeep Agarwal, DGSE, Mr. Vikas Pratap, Secretary Local Government apart from officials from concerned departments.