VIJAYAWADA: Reiterating that the amount being spent on education is an investment for a better future, Chief Minister Jagan Reddy said on Tuesday that it helps shape the generation-next into confident and competent youths to start their careers.
At the same time, major changes are being effected in the medical and health sector to ensure quality medicare is within the reach of the needy, the CM said while speaking on education reforms in the state assembly.
He said that the government is spending Rs 16,000 crore to develop 57,000 government schools. The Amma Vodi is a unique welfare scheme under which the government spent Rs 17,000 crore to benefit 84 lakh students in the past three years, he said.
Concluding a short discussion on Vidya Nadu-Nedu, the CM said the state government has been striving not just for the ‘right to education’ but for ‘right to English medium’ and ‘right to higher education’ for all, with incentives from pre-primary to college education. ‘
The previous TD government had tried to push government schools into oblivion so as to benefit corporate schools, he alleged.
Jagan said, “We have chalked out our priorities well and wanted to see the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) is drastically improved by providing incentives and also by revamping the schools under Nadu-Nedu. We have insisted with the education authorities that 12 visible changes should be evident in government schools.”
These included toilets, clean drinking water, repairs, tube lights and fans, furniture for students and teachers, green chalk boards, painting, English lab, compound wall, kitchen shed, additional rooms and digital interactive panels.
Besides government schools, even pre-primary foundation schools and anganwadis as also hostels are being developed under Nadu Nedu. In the first phase, 15,715 schools were revamped at a cost of Rs 3,700 crore and the digitization of classrooms will be in place from next academic year,” the CM said.
Stating that the second phase of modernization has started, Jagan gave a graphic view of schools in Chandrababu Naidu’s birthplace Naravari palle and Kuppam in the past and after the start of the Nadu Nedu programme.
He said, “People will wonder why these government schools were left without development for decades and how the present government is strengthening government schools. The GER in primary schools for 2015-16 was very poor and we increased it through schemes like Amma Vodi, Goru Muddha, Vidya Deevena and Vasathi Devena. While government schools had 37.20 lakh students in 2018-19, it increased to 44.29 lakh in 2021-22.”
The chief minister said, “Amma Vodi is a unique scheme under which mothers are incentivized to send their children to school, with each mother being given Rs 15,000 per annum with a rider of 75 per cent attendance and that Rs 1,000 each should be contributed towards ‘toilets and school maintenance fund’ for the upkeep of schools.”
During the past three years, Rs 19, 617 crore was spent under the scheme.
Under Gorumuddha, with a daily-changing menu and nutritious food, the state has been spending Rs 1,800 crore for the purpose, while it was just Rs 450 crore annually during the previous TD government’s time. The previous government did not clear the dues of Ayas and provisions as well, the CM said.
Explaining about the Vidya Kanuka kits he said a school bag, bilingual text books, work books, note books, three pairs of uniform, shoes, two pairs of socks, dictionary etc are being given to students on the school-reopening day itself. It cost about Rs 886 crore.
For the 8th class students and teachers, 5.18 lakh tabs would be given in November last week. The tabs would have a preloaded Byju’s content which would serve as a home tutorial. The Byju’s content, which would otherwise cost about Rs 24,000, would be given free of cost.
The chief minister said Vidya Deevena was the other incentive where full fees-reimbursement is given along with Vasathi Devena which takes care of the hostel and mess charges. The total expense works out to Rs 11,717 crore.
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