With nearly one lakh students enrolling in Delhi Government schools each year, the city requires around 500 new schools to meet the demand as per norms under the Right to Education Act, noted Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Delhi Budget on Friday.
The Centre, however, earmarked Rs.350 crore for construction of just 20 new schools in the coming financial year. Last year, the Sheila Dikshit government, while presenting the Budget, had stated that construction of five new government schools will begin in 2013-14 and 34 new school buildings will also be completed.
In all, Rs 2,482 crore has been allocated to educational sector in the Delhi Budget, which is approximately 14.8 per cent of the plan outlay. The allotment was Rs.1,901 crore in the previous financial year.
Mr. Jaitley said currently there are 380 senior secondary schools in the Capital exclusively for girls across 68 Assembly constituencies and schools will be opened in the remaining two Assembly constituencies as well.
“Special emphasis will be laid on improving sanitary conditions in government schools and necessary measures will be taken to construct, repair and set up fully functional and clean toilets in all schools in the current financial year,” he said.
As many as 20,318 teachers will undergo training at the State Council of Educational Research and Training in a bid to improve the quality of education in schools, the Minister said. The focus will also be on course content, teaching skills and creating a better teaching environment in government schools, he added.
“Delhi inhabits a lot of linguistic communities and has four academies of Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi and Hindi. It is proposed to take up project-based financial support to these academies in the current financial year.”
More teachers will be enlisted to promote languages like Urdu, Punjabi and Sanskrit in government schools. Interestingly, the Minister announced that a Skill Development Centre is proposed to be setup under a PPP model, for which 37 acre was announced by Ms. Dikshit in her Budget speech last year. This centre is expected to train nearly 15,000 students each year in various trades.
Mr. Jaitley also announced the setting up of a new School of Planning, Architecture and Design at a cost of Rs.285 crore in East Delhi by Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.