CHANDIGARH: For providing required infrastructure in the government schools, Punjab government released composite grant of Rs 46.30 crore.
For the year 2019-20 under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Rs 25,000 per school has been sanctioned to all the primary, middle, high and senior secondary government schools in the state. The grant is meant for strengthening the school infrastructure by replacing the non-functional equipment, play material, sports/laboratory equipment and teaching material. The grant can also be used for annual maintenance and repair of existing school buildings, toilets, drinking water and other facilities for the upkeep of the infrastructure.
Punjab education minister Vijay Inder Singla said that government is making efforts for improving the infrastructure so that enrolment of students can be increased.
In recent years, trend of students shifting from government schools to private schools picked up. From 2015-16 to 2018-19, government schools witnessed a drop of 1.47 lakh students while the private schools during the same period recorded increase of 4.27 lakh students.
The education minister said that it has been observed that lack of washrooms in schools hampers the enrolment of girl students in the schools. With adequate infrastructure and well-maintained buildings, the government is hoping for increase in enrolment.
To put a check on the trend, the education department in last two years has been putting efforts for improving the quality of education. The department converted about 2,800 primary and secondary schools in different parts of the state into smart schools. To assist the parents in choosing best government schools in their area for their children, the department also introduced gradation of the schools.
In last few months, steps have been taken for image management of government schools by directing its staff – both teaching and non-teaching — to make parents aware about new initiatives, improvements in the infrastructure and benefits of studying in government schools. Each staff member was asked to get one student enrolled in government schools.