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Shivam Jadoun|Dec 1, 2022
NEW DELHI: The union cabinet has approved a budget of Rs 27,360 crore to upgrade PM SHRI schools, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced on Wednesday. The Prime Minister’s School for Rising India” scheme was announced by prime minister Narendra Modi on Teachers’ Day, was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.
“In five years, starting from 2022 till 2027, Rs 27, 360 crore will be spent to upgrade 14, 597 schools into model schools,” said Pradhan. For the first time, the schools will receive money through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Under the new centrally-sponsored PM SHRI scheme, 14,500 schools will be “upgraded” across India in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The Cabinet has also approved plans to set up playschools so that there are at least two schools in every block area. Like Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, the centre and state will follow a 60:40 budget-sharing pattern. The total central share will be Rs 18, 128 crore.
“The Government of India has given a new distribution mechanism Special Nodal Accounts for specific schemes and departments. All states have agreed to this plan because all the benefits will directly reach the beneficiaries that are schools and students,” said Pradhan.
As per the government’s claim, more than 18 lakh students are expected to be direct beneficiaries of the scheme. Pradhan spent much time at the Cabinet briefing questioning the Aam Aadmi Party’s track record on education in Delhi. PM SHRI has led to the latest spat between the BJP and AAP over schools.
The union government has planned to upgrade PM SHRI schools into green schools, incorporating “environment-friendly aspects like solar panels and LED lights, nutrition gardens with natural farming, waste management, plastic free, water conservation” and other green initiatives.
The schools will focus on “experiential and holistic” pedagogy that will be more inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centered, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable pedagogy. “As mandated in NEP 2020, we aim to mold students so that they are able to get jobs once they leave the schools,” Pradhan said. The schools will also be digitally equipped including virtual labs and ICT labs, he added.
The government will select PM SHRI schools through “challenge mode” wherein schools compete for support to become exemplar schools. A maximum of two schools, including one elementary and one secondary or senior secondary school, will be selected in every block.
The schools will be selected based on 60 “point-based” criteria like availability of drinking water, playground, boundary wall and more. Among public schools maintained by centre, state and local bodies including Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya will be selected for improvement.
In addition, a School Quality Assessment Framework (SQAF) is being developed to measure the learning outcomes in these schools. Quality evaluation of these schools at regular intervals will be undertaken to ensure the desired standards. “Teachers will be able to assess which student is facing trouble in physics, English or mathematics,” said Pradhan.
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