Government Schools Drawing More Students: Kerala Chief Minister
Five lakh new students have enrolled in government schools in Kerala in the last three years with the focus on upgrading them as "Centres of Excellence" with modern facilities, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Though in the past there were discussions in society about closure of government schools, now these were being improved, resulting in them attracting more students, Mr Vijayan said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was speaking after dedicating 90 schools as "Centres of Excellence" and laying the foundation stone virtually for 54 school buildings on Saturday as part of the government's Public Education Rejuvenation Campaign to protect the public education system in the state. He said the government was implementing changes in the field of school education keeping in mind the next generation.
"In the past, society discussed the closure of government schools but now that they have become centres of excellence, the number of students coming to study has also increased. Five lakh new students have joined government schools in the last three years", Mr Vijayan said.
Through the Public Education Protection campaign, the state government aimed at making government schools as centres of overall excellence. Vijayan said the move was supported by local bodies, people's representatives, teachers, parents, alumni and other interested parties and the campaign has changed the old mindset of society about government schools.
The state government has taken up the "Centres of Excellence" project under the Public Education Rejuvenation Campaign of the General Education Department to elevate schools to high educational standards, considering their requirements over a 20-year horizon.
The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), under the state government, is approaching this objective with a holistic approach. This included improvement in pedagogy shift from teacher-centric to student-centric approach, technological interventions high-tech classrooms and academic content creation and upgradation of physical infrastructure extra- curricular infrastructure and school hygiene, sanitation and security.
Of the 90 Centres of Excellence inaugurated, buildings for four have been constructed at a cost of Rs five crores with funding from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), 20 were built a cost of Rs three crores, 62 buildings were built using plan funds and four buildings were constructed with assistance from NABARD.
Mr Pinarayi Vijayan said new buildings for 34 schools would be constructed at a cost of Rs three crore each with KIIFB funding and 20 at a cost of Rs 40 crores from the plan fund. The schools dedicated on Saturday are spread across the state in 13 districts and those proposed would be located in ten districts.