25 Feb : As the Burke said “Education is the chief defence of a Nation” and the State Government believing religiously in this popular dictum has given added attention to the education in the State, resulting in the allocation of a huge amount of rupees 2094 crore in education sector for the current financial year.
Himachal Pradesh has witnessed revolutionary progress in the field of Education. Prof. Amratya Sen an internationally acclaimed educationist has also appreciated the efforts of the State Government in bringing about a sea change in the Primary Education Sector. It is evident from the fact that Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged the first state in the field of primary education and second best state in the field of elementary education in the country. The credit goes to the Government as they laid a sound foundation and accorded priority to quality education.
The Government is endeavouring to provide standardised elementary education to all children of 6-14 age groups in the State and to achieve the same, the Government has decided to fill up 18,000 posts of teachers of various categories, during the current financial year. The Government has already given approval for the recruitment of 4568 posts of TGT Arts, Medical and Non-medical, 200 posts of Language Teachers and 150 posts of Shashtries in Elementary schools, for which the process is underway.
The Government has decided to regularize the services of 134 contract TGTs, who have completed eight years of continuous service as on 31.3.2008. Besides 377 Part Time Water Carrier have been appointed during last few months in the elementary schools of the State. 696 TGTs have been promoted to the posts of Headmasters and posted in High Schools.
The Government has also decided to introduce Punjabi and Urdu language from the academic session 2008-09 in the 100 selected schools of the State.
In order to provide adequate infrastructural facilities in the schools, the Government has made a budget provision of Rs. 54 crore for the construction of elementary school buildings during current financial year. There is also a
provision of 197.03 crore for the infrastructural development in the colleges and schools of the state which is 142 percent more than the previous year..
In addition to this, an amount of Rs. 143.91 crore will also be incurred on the implementation of various activities of elementary education under Sarv Shiksha Abiyan.
To make the girl student self defensive, the State Government has launched a programme to train them in marshal arts in 500 schools of the state whereas initiative has been taken to start Yog Shiksha in other 386 schools.
In order to encourage enrolment retention and to reduce tendency of dropout of students in elementary schools, various scholarship and incentives are being provided to the targeted students and a budget provision of Rs. 25.30 crore for this purpose has been made. A sum of rupees 9.57 crore has been incurred on the free Text Books to all the elementary school students belonging to IRDP/OBC/SC/ST category during this financial year. The present Government has extended the Mid Day Meal scheme to the students of VI to VIII classes from the current financial year in all Government and Government Aided Schools from 01st July, 2008.
The State has 25476 Children with special needs out of which 23011 have been enrolled in schools and 2465 are in severe category. 420 severely challenged children have been covered under Home-based Education through 19 NGOs in 9 districts. Specially trained teachers are also catering the educational needs of the severely handicapped category of children and an honorarium of Rs. 500/- per month is being given to these teachers. As many as 24 medical camps were organized and 72 Children with special needs were provided with the aids and appliances. Foundation stone of “Atal Shiksha Kunj” has been laid at Kalu Jhanda (Baddi) in Solan District, where renowned educational institutions would be established and the State would be developed as the “Educational Hub” of the international level.
Apart from this, the State Government has been providing free education to the girl students right from school level up to the university level.
1036 additional classrooms, 1865 girls toilets and one Block Resource Centres has been sanctioned for the year 2008-09 under civil works in various schools of the State. Teacher trainings, research activities and other quality improvement programmes are also being implemented in the State.