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The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation School Board Tuesday proposed a budget of Rs 581.45 crore for the year 2016-17 which is Rs 58.1 crore less than last year’s budget. This is an estimated projection for 455 municipal schools with 1.41 lakh students and 4,335 teachers.
To counter the flow of students towards English-medium private schools, the school board has announced to open three new English-medium schools, in addition to existing 9, during 2016-17. An amount of Rs 50 lakh has been allocated for these schools to be opened in Naranpura, Maninagar and Bapunagar. At present, a total of 1,588 students are enrolled in the nine English-medium municipal schools.
Out of 13-odd schemes for municipal school students, the only new scheme that finds a mention in the annual budget proposed by the school board for the year 2016-17 is the ‘sweater scheme’ worth Rs 1 crore.
This scheme involves distribution of warm sweaters to nearly 85,783 students from Class I till V in the financial year 2016-17 and will also get the highest fund among all the 13 schemes. BALA (building as a learning aid) and Pragya for 50 more schools is the only other project that shares an equal allocation of Rs 1 crore.
This is a part of Rs 8.69 crore or merely 1.49% is out of a total budget of Rs 581.45 crore proposed by the school board, that has been allocated for student development. Further, almost an equal percentage of 1.71% or Rs 9.93 crore is allocated for education and education related works. Remaining 96.8% is for establishment salaries and office related expenses.
Other proposals announced in the budget includes five smart schools one in each ward with an estimated total allocation of Rs 1 crore. “These would be developed on the lines of Vasana municipal school number 3 and 4 that is running as a smart school. Taking Ahmedabad’s selection under the smart city project forward, the smart learning project inaugurated by the chief minister in July 2015 will be replicated to other classes and subjects as well,” said AMC school board administrative officer L D Desai.
At present, smart learning project is running for mathematics, science and English subjects covering 55,000 students from Classes VI till VIII. New subjects to be added into this project would be social science and languages.
Also, implementing the ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Sewa Basti Shala’ scheme that was introduced in the 2015-16 budget, Gupta Nagar area in Vasana with an allocation of Rs 5 lakh would be covered in the coming year. “Under this scheme, temporary schools are run where building cannot be constructed. At present, one is running in Isanpur area, another was in Ramapir no tekra till recently as a new municipal school has been recently constructed,” said school board chairman Jagdish Bhavsar.