Bhubaneswar: 13/3/23:The School and Mass Education Department has been allocated Rs 22,528 crore in the State budget for 2023-24 which is five percent more than what the department received in the last financial year. Addressing a press conference, S&ME Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said that to reduce drop-out rates across the state, 106 higher secondary schools will be opened this academic year.
Highlighting the features of the capital outlay for the department in the budget, Dash said, “Under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the S&ME Dept is giving utmost importance to take timely measures in accordance with the changing scenario. S&ME Dept is focusing on ensuring quality education by supplementing all-round development of educational institutions, intellectual, mental and physical development of students and the overall development of the teaching community.”
A total expenditure of ₹22,52,780.23 lakh has been allocated in the budget of 2023-24 for the overall improvement of educational institutions, of which ₹12,86,284.23 lakh and ₹9,66,496.00 lakh will be availed under the administrative and programme expenditure respectively. ₹80,514.50 lakh has been allocated to the state government’s avant-garde initiative of Mo School Abhiyan.
₹138.97 cr. has been allocated to the recently announced ‘Mukhya Mantri Shikhya Purashkar’ wherein best performing districts, blocks, schools, head teachers, teachers, panchayats, SMC/SMDCs, CRCCs, Block Education Officers, District Education Officers, alumni committees and DIETs will be awarded to create healthy competition and promote better educational outcomes. ₹3,411 cr. has already been allocated for the first, second and third phase of High School Transformation Programme.
Under the ‘Gangadhar Meher Shikshya Manakbrudhi Yojana’, ₹15,500.00 lakh has been allotted to provide bicycles free of cost to students studying in Class-IX of government schools, government fully aided schools, Sanskrit Tol and Madrasas to facilitate their transit.
Similarly, a budget of ₹1918.13 lakh has been allotted under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Medhabi Chatra Protsahana Yojana’ for providing scholarships to deserving students. Aimed at robust infrastructure development and ensuring holistic educational environment, a budget of ₹1000.14 Cr. will be spent towards the construction of 237 new boys’ hostels.
Targeted at maintaining the high-quality assets generated under the HST initiative, ₹130 cr. has been allocated towards the provision of engaging services of Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) for watch and ward and housekeeping.
In terms of recruitment, ₹1045.00 cr. has been allocated for the posting of 51,535 teachers under the S&ME dept. and 1070 teachers for OAVs in the 2023-2024 financial year.
₹10.00 Cr. has been allocated for the “Paradarshi Portal” to facilitate the admission of financially disadvantaged students to private educational institutions, ₹ 254.27 lakh for Odia students reading in adjoining states, ₹ 715.62 for the “New India Literacy Programme” for the drop-out students have also been allocated.
Aswathy S, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, S&ME Department presented briefs of the budget while enunciating the course of the ongoing initiatives.
“We are also initiating counselling sessions for Out of school children over the age of 17 with the support of Skill Development and Technical Education Department. The government is prioritising to fill up vacancies through recruitment of over 50,000 teachers in high schools and higher secondary schools. Enhanced focus will be given to academic activities,” she said.