With no new announcements for Higher Education, the interim Budget, presented by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in the Assembly, said that an amount of Rs 3,703 crore has been provided in the revised estimates 2020-21 for the continuance of the existing welfare schemes for government school students.
As reported earlier by this newspaper, the Budget said, Computer Science, which so far is being taught as a separate subject only in Classes 11 and 12, will now be introduced for the students from Class 6 to Class 10 in all government high and higher secondary schools.
Stating that the government is committed to provide quality education by leveraging information and communication technology in schools, it said hi-tech labs have been established in 6,029 government high and higher secondary schools at a cost of Rs 530.13 crore.
“To ensure that during COVID-19 pandemic, the learning process of children does not get interrupted, the government distributed textbooks to all students from Class 1 to Class 12,” the document said adding “a total of 1,912 video lessons have been prepared for about 4 lakh Class 12 students and have been uploaded on the free laptops issued to them.”
On Higher Education side, OPS claimed that the gross enrolment ratio in higher education institutions in Tamil Nadu is currently at 49 per cent, which is almost twice the national average. He also said that the gender party index of 0.97 also shows that equitable access of women has been ensured in higher education.
“To enhance employability, 40 government Arts and Science Colleges, 21 polytechnics and four government engineering colleges were established during the last few years,” he said adding “similarly, a total of 1,577 new courses have been started in governments Arts and Science Colleges to enhance employability.”
“The first generation graduate tuition fee concessions are being extended to nearly two lakh students every year and provision of Rs 391.50 crore has been made for it in the revised estimates during 2020-2021. A sum of Rs 5,478.19 crore has been provided in the interim Budget estimates for higher education in 2021-2022,” the Deputy CM said.