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Schools get less, more funds for colleges
Despite the government allocating Rs 1,500 crore less for school education compared to the previous year, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan claimed that the government was determined to ensure that Tamil Nadu was among the top three states in terms of learning outcomes.
For this academic year, the government has earmarked Rs 32,599.54 crore for school education compared to the 2020-21 allocation of Rs 34,181.73 crore, a fall by Rs 1,582.19 crore. However, this year’s budget allocation for higher education is Rs 5,369.09 crore, which is Rs 316.25 crore more compared to last year.
The Minister said all teachers would be able to receive technology-enabled, monitorable and evidence-based training through 40 tablets to be supplied to each of the 413 blocks at a cost of Rs 13.22 crore.
“The Ennum Ezhuthum Mission to ensure foundational literacy and numeracy will be implemented to ensure that by 2025 all students in Tamil Nadu by age 8 are able to read with comprehension and possess basic arithmetic skills. A provision of Rs 66.70 crore has been made for this.
The government’s immediate priority was to minimise learning losses to students due to the pandemic, he said. “All teachers have been trained in the necessary COVID protocols and will be vaccinated so that schools can reopen at the earliest. A comprehensive plan for remedial education will be launched to address learning losses,” he added.
Higher Education: This year, 10 new government Arts and Science Colleges would be opened, the Minister said. “To further enhance quality, the government will enable more institutions to obtain accreditation under the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC),” he said. “A Learning Management System integrated with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software will be established for all higher education institutions for which a detailed project report will be prepared. Smart classrooms will be provided in 25 government polytechnic colleges at a cost of Rs 10 crore.” The decision to make Raja Muthiah Medical College as the government medical college for Cuddalore and Annamalai University an affiliating university for Cuddalore, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, and Mayiladuthurai districts would ease Annamalai University’s financial crisis and better serve the people, he said. “The government will also establish the TN Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Corporation in partnership with Madras Institute of Technology and Anna University,” he added.