JAMMU: The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has introduced major changes in the education sector with path-breaking decisions to ensure quality, equity, accessibility, accountability and affordability in the system.
The department of School Education has achieved landmark strides so far by effectively implementing all schemes and projects envisaging a notable improvement in the existing curriculum besides embarking upon various innovative new projects and works.
In the recently announced budget for 2022-23, the highest allocation has been for the education department at Rs 11,832 crore which shows government’s commitment to quality education for the children of J&K.
Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme
The MDM Scheme is a school meal programme designed to improve the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide. The new budget proposes that only fortified rice be served to about 8.30 lakh students at the elementary level (I to VIII) under MDM scheme for improving the nutritional health of students. The software application developed by CBSE is to be utilized for monitoring the implementation of MDM.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is successfully implementing its own school lunch programme in the country, is to be involved in serving hot cooked meal to students enrolled in schools located in urban areas of Jammu and Samba District on a pilot basis. At Akshaya Patra, the menu is designed and implemented after taking into consideration various factors, including regional palate, taste, and flavours. Menu diversity is achieved by using a wide variety of seasonal vegetables and locally available ingredients.
With the implementation of the National Education Policy in Jammu and Kashmir, new kindergartens will come up across all Government schools.
Under new budget of 2022-23, it has been decided that 500 Kindergartens will be established in government schools for increasing enrolment, providing early child care education and enhancing numerical and foundational literacy.
518 smart/virtual classrooms will be established in higher secondary schools for imparting quality education to students. Also, 200 Vocational laboratories are to be established and 40 schools having vocational labs will act as hubs for imparting vocational/skill training.
Under the budget 2022-23, sports being an indispensable part of quality education, sports Infrastructure will be developed in 100 schools (5 schools per district).
Residential Hostel facilities for girl students & Education of Tribal Students
In a bid to address the girl child dropout rate, 37 Girls Hostel Buildings and 12 KGBV (Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalays) buildings will be completed for improving residential facilities for girls and bringing about desired gender parity in education.
Fulfilling the commitment towards inclusive education, construction work of two residential schools, one each in the districts of Rajouri & Shopian will be taken up for tribal students, besides 8000 meritorious tribal students are to be given tablets.
Under the scheme Talash, the School Education Department will rope in Panchayats and enroll all out-of-school children and ensure universal enrolment of students in Jammu and Kashmir.
Survey of out-of-school children to be conducted using TALASH app, developed by UNICEF and appropriate measures to be taken for mainstreaming them.
In higher education department, 07 college buildings are to be completed in 2022-23. There will be the establishment of Centers for Invention, Innovation, Incubation and Training (CIIIT) at Jammu and Srinagar in collaboration with Tata Technologies during 2022-23 for skill development of students. NAAC accreditation of 59 colleges will be completed and an e-governance system in all the colleges is to be developed within J&K.
Two numbers of high-level Research Institutes for providing opportunity to students and faculty for high-end research and innovation will be set up and Skill enhancement training to nearly 20,000 undergraduate students is proposed in the new budget of UT.
The steps are also being taken on the implementation of educational reforms and the new budget on education will play a significant role in giving impetus to the realization of a new and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.