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PAB sanctions Rs 1665 cr annual plan under SAMAGRA Shiksha for 2024-25

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NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir has a substantial budget worth Rs 1665 crore under Samagra Shiksha for 2024-25 with the formal approval of the plan proposal by the Project Approval Board (PAB), constituted under the Samagra Shiksha scheme.

The annual plan has been accorded approval by the PAB during its meeting, held here today under the chairmanship of the Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Union Ministry of Education, Sanjay Kumar, at New Delhi, to review progress on Samagra Shiksha 2023-24 besides approval of the budget for 2024-25.

The meeting was among others attended by the Secretary of School Education, Dr Piyush Singla, along with Additional Secretary, Vipin Kumar, (Economic Advisor), A Srija, Joint Secretary, Dr Preeti Mania, JS Director Finance, MoE Shobit, a team of MoE and officers from J&K administration including Project Director Samagra Shiksha, Deep Raj, Director Planning Parshotam Kumar, Deputy Director Planning Bilal Rashid, besides other Coordinator and stakeholders.

During the meeting, the Secretary emphasized the improvement of basic indicators and asked for adopting a consolidated approach to providing quality education to the children. He asked the UT administration to expedite the pending approved projects so that further flow of funds can be made easy. He asked to bridge the infrastructure gaps, at various levels, so that quality education can be ensured at all levels. `

While interacting with the media, Dr Singla informed that the UT has improved the basic indicators of school education in the past 2-3 years and for the year 2024-25, it is the largest budget which has been recommended and approved in the PAB for various interventions since 2018-19.

He further said, “Funds allocated for UT will accelerate the implementation of NEP 2020, bringing further dividends to the students to make them employable and strengthen our efforts in making J&K a knowledge-hub and knowledge-based economy,” he asserted. The flagship scheme aims at ensuring inclusive and quality education at the elementary and secondary levels and is funded jointly by the central and state governments on a 90:10 sharing basis, he added.

Dr. Singla said that the New Education Policy, 2020 lays greater focus on skilling the youth of the country and linking education with industry and professional spheres, so as to enable students to be ready for future challenges and opportunities. It is for the first time, that 554 schools have been approved under Vocational Education at one stretch with minimum 02 trades in each school, he maintained. The main share of the total allocation has been dedicated to quality interventions, followed by access to retention for taking new initiatives for the future of students of J&K.

For the financial year 2024-25, the Centre has approved a tentative outlay, of 1665 crore, for elementary, secondary and teacher education. The allocation approved for elementary education is Rs. 1165 crore, Rs. 487 crore for secondary followed by teacher education at Rs. 13.19 crore.

Dr Singla said that with the implementation of the approved interventions, a conducive environment shall be ensured for the students to enhance their learning outcomes under a robust education system.

Giving a breakdown of the approved budget 2024-25, he informed that Rs 142 crore will be utilized for the construction of new buildings and strengthening of the existing buildings. The funds shall be utilized to overcome the infrastructure gaps in schools. About 380 works (Major/Minor) under Secondary Education and 966 works under Elementary Education will be taken up including construction of additional classrooms, Art and Craftroom, Headmaster Room, boundary walls, computer labs, resource rooms, vocational rooms etc.

Some key activities under the ‘Quality Interventions’ component including assessment of learning levels, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and digital initiatives, Learning Enhancement Programmes (LEP), strengthening of libraries and support for pre-nursery level got the highest allocation of the recommended budget. More than, 2000 Smart Classrooms and 600 ICT labs shall be established in various Schools across the UT. Virtual Reality Labs, Science Centres, Astro Physics Labs, and English Language Labs shall be established under UT Innovations.

Under Teacher Education Strengthening of physical infrastructure in DIETs, training of teacher educators, Programmes and activities including faculty development and annual grants for TEl have been approved for the year 2024-25 to the tune of Rs 13 crore.

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