New scheme to replace Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
New Delhi: Praising the Union budget as "revolutionary", Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that the government was designing a new scheme, based on composite schooling from pre-primary to class 12, in place of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
He added that if the total expenditure on education was taken into consideration, it had already touched "five per cent" of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Detailing the salient features of the budget related to the HRD ministry, Javadekar said, "We are designing a new scheme, based on a composite schooling system from pre-primary to class 12, in place of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)."
The infrastructure in the education sector would get a boost with the "funding of Rs one lakh crore" over the next four years, he said, adding, "The government will boost the education infrastructure by spending funds meant for four-five years in two years. It will then replenish the funds. Essentially, it is updating the infrastructure and creating research facilities in advance."
The government would also try to stop the brain drain by providing good laboratories and faculty members to the students under the prime minister's scholarship, which would be Rs 80,000 per month, he said, adding that under the scheme 1,000 best BTech students would be identified from premier institutions each year and facilities would be provided to them to undertake PhD in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.
The minister also cited various schemes and initiatives like the digital board, Eklavya hostels to be developed at par with the Navodaya schools, learning outcome and national assessment, teachers' training etc. as big projects to boost the education sector.
The SCERTs and DIETs responsible for teachers' training that were "lying dead" would also be strengthened, he said, adding that 13 lakh teachers were currently undergoing the DlEd (diploma in elementary education) training and would appear in the exam in March.
Expressing concern over the quality of education, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that education will be treated in a holistic manner from pre-nursery to Class XII. Presenting the Budget 2018-19 in Parliament, Jaitley expressed the government's resolve to increase the digital intensity in education. "The government proposes to gradually move away from the black board to digital board," he said.