By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the extension of the Samagra Shiksha Scheme from April 2021 for the next 5 years with an estimated outlay of about Rs 2.95 lakh crore. Samagra Shiksha Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme for the school education sector and covers 11.6 lakh schools, over 15.6 crore students and 57 lakh teachers of government and aided schools from pre-primary to the senior-secondary level. The scheme has now been aligned to the National Education Policy, 2020 to ensure inclusive and equitable, quality and holistic school education, said the government. The new interventions that have been incorporated in the scheme as per the NEP include training of master trainers for training of Anganwadi workers and in-service teacher training for early childhood education.
ALSO READ | CBSE class 10 result: Over 57,000 students score above 95 per cent, over 2 lakh 90-95 per cent scorers At the pre-primary level, there will also be a provision of up to Rs 500 per child for teaching learning materials, indigenous toys and games, play-based activities per annum for pre-primary sections in government schools and support for pre-primary sections in government primary schools. At the elementary level, under the programme, there will be financial support for the State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights at Rs 50 per elementary school in the state, for protection of child rights and safety. There will also be a child tracking provision included for students of government and government-aided schools and there will be greater emphasis on direct benefit transfers so that the various benefits reach directly to the students in the shortest time. A statement by the government said that universalization of access up to the senior-secondary level and addition of new subjects instead of streams in existing senior-secondary schools will be key additions for senior students in schools. Importantly, transport facility will also be extended to secondary level at the rate of up to Rs 6000 per annum and for out-of-school children at 16 to 19 years of age, support will be provided to SC, ST, disabled children, upto Rs 2000 per child per grade to complete their secondary or senior secondary levels through open schooling. The Centre has also decided to upgrade all Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, which run up to class 10 now to class 12 and there will be an enhanced financial support for existing stand-alone girls’ hostels for classes 9 to 12 of upto Rs 40 lakh per annum from Rs 25 lakh earlier. Also, there will be a provision of incinerator and sanitary pad vending machines in all girls’ hostels and training for 3 months for inculcating self-defence skills will be be renamed as ‘Rani Laxmibai Atma Raksha Prashikshan’ and the amount will be raised from Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 per month.