Chandigarh, February 29 – Punjab Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla has welcomed the revolutionary initiative announced in the state budget to provide free education for all the students of government schools up to 12th standard in Punjab. Expressing gratitude towards Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, he informed that currently, the government provides free education to all students up to 8th class and to girl students up to 10+2 standard. As part of our endeavour to educate all our children, the government has decided to grant free education in government schools to all students up to 12th standard.
Mr. Singla apprised that for the promotion of school education, an allocation of Rs.12,488 crore which accounts for 8 per cent of total expenditure has been provided for the year 2020-21. This amount is 23 per cent higher than the budgetary allocations for this sector in the year 2016-17. He said that state government has specifically focused on the primary education in the state following the motto of “Catch them Young”. In order to give a further impetus to primary education in the state and with a view to increase the outreach of the primary schools, an allocation of Rs.10 crore was proposed for free-transportation facility for the students.
Education Minister further said that budgetary provision of Rs.100 crore for construction of 4,150 additional classrooms has also been made. Besides this, government is also focusing on maintaining school buildings to provide healthy and congenial atmosphere to the students. A budgetary provision of Rs.75 crore is proposed for maintenance schools buildings during 2020-21. He said that government is endeavouring to convert all the classrooms of the high and senior secondary schools into the smart ones by providing projectors and further strengthening the State objective of converting all schools into the smart schools and proposed an outlay of Rs.100 crore for digital education.
Reiterating his commitment for multi-pronged development of girl students, the Education Minister informed that in order to provide karate training to all girls in government schools, the State is training all female teachers below the age of 50 years through expert karate trainers. In the year 2019-20, 261 female teachers have already been trained and this program shall continue in 2020-21. Besides, sanitary napkins are being provided to the girls in government schools and for this purpose, an outlay of Rs.13 crore has also proposed.
Mr. Singla further acquainted that the state government also intends to install 10 KW Solar plants in 259 government senior secondary smart schools in its first phase and in another 621 Senior Secondary schools in the second phase, adding that government is sensitive to the conservation of the precious water resources of the state. With the aim to achieve the twin objectives of recharging the subsurface water and spreading awareness on water conservation amongst the youth, finance minister has proposed Rs.25 crore for setting up water harvesting system in all the government senior secondary schools.