Sunday, March 17, 2013

Education sector eyes top ranks

Education sector eyes top ranks

14th March 2013 12:20 PM
Kerala’s school education sector which is poised for major restructuring with the implementation of the Right to Education Act this year, expects a big boost from the upcoming state budget for projects to improve quality of education and infrastructure in schools.
‘’The focus this year would be to improve the quality of education and new projects for the same have been submitted to the Finance Department,’’ K Elanagovan, Secretary, General Education, said.
Innovative projects on teachers’ education and training along with projects to improve the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) of students have been submitted by the General Education Department for budgetary approval, he said.
In his budget speech last year, Finance Minister K M Mani had declared that select schools in the state would be modernised at par with international level. But the project has not taken off as alumni of respective schools - who were expected to contribute one-third of the funds along with the State Government and Members of Parliament- could not cough up the required amount.
‘’With additional budgetary support this year, we will implement the project on a pilot basis in two districts,’’ Elangovan said.
Denying reports of major lapses in plan funds, Elangovan said that in the case of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Centre disbursed only around Rs 274 crore out of the Rs 523 crore actually announced but the state had made up for most of the shortfall.
The Higher Education Department was tightlipped about its expectations from the state budget. Many of the ambitious projects announced in the previous Budget like setting up an ‘’Academic City’’- to bring various courses being conducted by renowned universities worldwide under one umbrella - are still non-starters.
‘’We are in talks with various universities about the setting up of the Academic City. But it needs cabinet approval. It also takes time. We can’t perform miracles in a year,’’ was the response of
Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb, when asked about the progress of the project.

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