Tablets for teachers to track students’ progress, 10,000 new classrooms, 400 special libraries and pre-primary classes are among the big-ticket promises the AAP government made as it allocated Rs 11,300 crore to education sector in this budget. Continuing its trend of allocating the biggest share of the budget to the sector, the government, which had increased the outlay for education by 106 per cent in 2015, allocated 24 per cent of the total outlay for 2017-18. “We have succeeded in creating huge infrastructure in the form of construction of new schools, new classrooms, sports grounds, clean toilet facilities in the last two years. 24 new schools will start in this year,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in his Budget speech. Besides this, he said, construction of 10,000 new classrooms will be started in the next financial year. “Our government has also decided to introduce pre-primary classes in 156 government schools in 2017-18, with upgraded infrastructure facilities,” he said. Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, announced that tablets will be given to all government teachers to help them maintain data and other information on students.
“It will save the time of teachers being wasted in doing paper works. We have also planned for expansion of NSIT, DTU and IIIT so that more students can be accommodated in these institutes,” he said.
Apart from setting aside Rs 182 crore for upgrade of computer laboratories and installing more terminals, another 100 crore has been allocated for construction of libraries and procurement of books. “400 new libraries are to be opened in the government schools for Class VI to X in which books of stories and poetry will be provided as per the age and interest of the children so that reading habits may be developed amongst the students,” he said.
Sisodia also said bananas and boiled eggs will be added to mid-day meals served to students till class VIII in all government schools for which Rs 55 crore has been allocated. For the first time, girl students of classes IX-XII will also be served mid-day meals from next month, he said.
The government has also proposed that it will open Delhi’s first pharmaceutical university in the city.
For the schools operating in two shifts, there will be two computer labs for which Rs 182 crore have been allotted. The government will start Punjabi, Urdu clubs in all schools along with art and music classes. Sisodia also announced setting up of five schools of excellence and a teachers’ training centre under the aegis of Ambedkar University. Ten early childhood centres will also come up as a pilot project and for that Rs 4 crore has been set aside.