Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Sunday announced Rs. 40 lakh each from his Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds for the upgradation of five city government schools to 'smart schools'.
He also announced funds for installation of water purifiers at all existing 200 schools and 16 upcoming ones to ensure clean drinking water for students.
Bansal, the MP from Chandigarh, made the announcement at the inauguration of UT's second - and only Hindi medium - smart school at Government High School, Sector 50. Bansal said that he had a meeting on Saturday with UT education officials where he granted funds for two schools but added three more schools after visit to the new smart school.
The funds would be utilised to develop multimedia rooms in Government Model Senior Secondary School, Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra; Government Model High School, Sector 28-D; and government schools in Sectors 16, 35 and 54.
The UT administration had inaugurated its first smart school in Sector 53 last year.
The new smart school has been built at an estimated cost of Rs. 6 crore on 4.23 acres in around two-and-half years.
Approximately 900 slum students studying in GSSS, Sector 45, have since been shifted to the new smart school, said its principal Lakhwinder Kumar.
UT education secretary VK Singh, who was also present at the inauguration, said that the education department had recruited 800 JBT and TGT teachers to help government schools meet the student-teacher ratio mentioned under the Right to Education Act.
KK Sharma, advisor to the UT administrator, said that Rs. 38 crore had been allocated for UT government schools this year, compared with Rs. 25 crore spent last year.
He pointed out that with the increase in UT population, there was need for more government schools, adding that two new high schools would come up in Dhanas at a cost of Rs. 11 crore each.
Chandigarh municipal corporation mayor Subhash Chawla, was among those present on the occasion.