Nation Current Affairs 14 Jul 2016 Kerala FM Thomas Isa ...

Kerala FM Thomas Isaac has some brilliant models

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SABLOO THOMAS
Published Jul 14, 2016, 2:09 am IST
Updated Jul 14, 2016, 2:09 am IST
These success stories inspired FM plan to upgrade 1,000 schools to global standards.
Students of Government Girls’ Vocational Higher Secondary School, Nadakkavu.
 Students of Government Girls’ Vocational Higher Secondary School, Nadakkavu.

Thiruvananthapuram: It was the success stories of some schools raised to international standards that inspired finance minister T. M. Thomas Isaac to include in his budget a scheme to upgrade one school each in every assembly constituency to global standards. The plan was to upgrade 1000 schools during the five-year tenure of the present government.

One of the first schools in the state which got upgraded to international standards was the Government Girls Vocational Higher Secondary School, Nadakkavu, which got the opportunity to be raised to international standards some three years ago. It was an innovative educational development project initiated by Pradeepkumar MLA aimed at raising government schools to world standards.

Government Girls School got this fortunate prospect and today the school is considered as one of the best schools in the State that meets all international standards.

Following the same path, government and aided schools located in Koyilandy assembly constituency, which is struggling without proper infrastructural development will also get a similar facelift.

Koyilandy MLA K. Dasan, inspired by the model, has taken up the initiative of picking some government and also aided schools in the region which cry for an immediate facelift.

The project which has already started to implement in Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Koyilandy, will be beneficial for at least 25 schools in the constituency with the help of the public and MLA funds. The project will be initiated under the banner of DEEP (Dasan Educational Empowerment Programme) conceived by the local body representatives.

Mr Isaac in the assembly speech had announced that Rs 1000 crore would be set aside for the purpose of converting schools into international standards. The government expected an expenditure of of Rs 250 crore this financial year under this scheme.

All Kerala School Teachers Union (AKSTU) general secretary N. Sreekumar told Deccan Chronicle that it was for the first time that the government was coming up with a comprehensive package for improving the infrastructure of schools in the general education sector.

“The norms have to be evolved to ensure what international standards really meant,” he said.

"There are two models now implemented in the state for converting schools into international standards. One was to ensure the support of local population like that being carried out in various schools in Payyanur constituency. Another one was that followed by the Nadakkavu School where the support of a single philanthropist who could invest a significant amount of money was ensured. It was for the state government to decide on which model was more preferred."

Another announcement that would help schools improve their standards was the announcement that Rs 500-crore fund would be set up for government high schools and higher secondary schools for converting them into high-tech schools, Mr Sreekumar said.

State Resources Centre associate programme coordinator C. Swaraj said that the decision to improve the infrastructure of the schools was a welcome move. However, the problem was that the decision was not enough.

The poor infrastructure was only one of the reasons for the low enrollment of students in government and aided schools. The problem was also with the management practices followed in these schools. The way out was to put in place a school education cadre for the management of schools as like in many foreign countries, Mr Swaraj said.

V. B. Ajayakumar, coordinator RIGHTS, an organisation working for the educational rights of the marginalised, said that it was not clear what the fate of the remaining 11,000 schools would be once these 1000 schools are raised to international standards, Mr Ajayakumar said.

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