To give boost to school education in the country, the Planning Commission has approved in principle to universalise education up to secondary level in the next five years.
Although it is not what the HRD ministry had ordered for, still it will get Rs 19,000 crore in the next five years from the Planning Commission for school education. The HRD ministry has submitted proposal for universalisation of education till higher secondary level. In the first two years, the ministry is expected to get additional Rs 5,000 crores followed by Rs 3,000 crores in the remaining three years.
The HRD ministry informed the Consultative Committee on the ministry on Monday that the Planning Commission’s decision would give a new direction to school education in the country. “There will be a system in place where in a student enrolling in a school will at least complete matric examination,” an official said.
By 2010, the ministry targets to bring all out of the school children to a formal education system and by then, the infrastructure till class X education will also be strengthened. “The next few years would be crucial for education in India,” a ministry official commented.
The committee was also informed about the new initiatives of the ministry to end gender discrimination in education, including a new scheme proposed for education of the girl child. Under the scheme, special attention would be given to enrolment and further education of the girl child, an official said.
Another attempt to strengthen education for girl is by way of opening about 1,700 new Kasturba Gandhi Bal Vidalayas in the next five years. The proposal is pending with the Planning Commission. The ministry also presented an action taken report on schemes for girl child education to the committee.
However, the issue on agenda of the meeting was Science Education. The ministry informed the committee members about the steps taken by NCERT, UGC and AICTE to attract more students towards science education including new scholarship programmes.