A new scheme to upgrade government schools in Telangana has been announced as part of the state Budget for 2021-22. Presenting the Budget in the Assembly on Thursday, state Finance Minister T Harish Rao announced that an amount of Rs 4,000 crore is being allocated for the scheme, under which government schools across the state will be revamped over the next two years. Apart from providing basic facilities, the government will also take up construction and repair of buildings and sanitation facilities, and the provision of furniture and other amenities. “Modern technology will be used to put classrooms on digital platforms,” the Finance Minister said.
An amount of Rs 11,735 crore was proposed in the Budget Estimate 2021-22 for School Education and an amount of Rs 1,873 crore for Higher Education. In comparison, last year, an amount of Rs 10,421 crore was proposed for School Education and Rs 1,723.27 crore for Higher Education, apart from Rs 100 crore to improve the literacy rate of the state.
Speaking about the status of education in the state, Harish Rao said that parents are eager to send children to Telangana Residential Schools (for SC, ST, BC and minority students) as they are on par with “corporate educational institutions” in providing quality education.
The total number of Residential Schools went up from 298 in 2014, to 970 schools at present, he said, adding that the government is spending Rs 1 lakh a year on each student. There were 4,29,686 students studying in all categories of Residential Schools in 2019-20, he said.
A similar scheme for revamping schools has been implemented in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh by the YSRCP government. Under the Nadu-Nedu program, it was announced that around 45,000 government schools in Andhra Pradesh would get improved infrastructure and amenities at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. Under the first phase, which is nearing completion, around 15,000 schools were revamped. It was recently announced that hostels and junior and degree colleges will be covered in the subsequent phases of the program at an estimated cost of Rs 7,700 crore.