Hyderabad: The Union Budget is aimed at inclusive education by introducing the concept of Ekalavya schools to be started for the Scheduled Tribe community.
Over 600 schools would be started to provide quality education to tribal children.
Special Educators Forum national convener Kalpagiri S. said, “These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas which is a good step because quality education should be made available to tribal children as well as inclusiveness which is the whole point of education. But the number of schools is large and there should be enough facilities available.” The Budget focused on smart classrooms and would also be providing more Wi-Fi spots in universities and colleges. TS Council for Higher Education vice-chairperson Prof V. Venkata Ramana Reddy said, “This Budget will change pedagogy. Digital classrooms can provide replication which in turn will lead to access by students in every area. It will also mean storage of data that can be used in all schools.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s comment that blackboards will become digital ones is very important as it turns into an interactive classroom and even quizzes, pictures and others will be more interesting for students.”
The Budget unveiled a new scheme called Revitalising Infrastructure in School Education (RISE) over four years to improve the infrastructure of schools.
Although the step was lauded by many as schools would no longer have to wait for grants for their expenses and can borrow from Hefa, an education financing agency, many experts said there needed to be more funds for this.
TIME director Manek Daruvala said, “The proposal to start Ekalavya schools and new infrastructure will have a certain positive impact in the areas that they are targeting.” He also said more funds were required for the infrastructure for all schools as the existing government ones were in dire need of a revamp.