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All schools have to set up student safety committees, says Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi

Safety boxes have to be placed on the school premises for the convenience of students to lodge their complaints and for feedback

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
August 27, 2021 10:44:38 am
During the Budget Session a few weeks ago, the Tamil Nadu government had provided its highest budgetary allocation of Rs 32,599 crore for school education. (File Photo)

Tamil Nadu Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said every school across the state has to set up a “Student Safety Advisory Committee” to monitor their safety and wellbeing.

The minister said this while making a slew of announcements in the Assembly. During the Budget Session a few weeks ago, the Tamil Nadu government had provided its highest budgetary allocation of Rs 32,599 crore for school education. The government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 16,080.96 crore for elementary and Rs 15,650.34 crore for secondary and higher secondary education for the year 2021-22.

Speaking on the committee, the minister said that a control room will be set up at DPI with a toll-free hotline and private email facility to receive complaints. An orientation module will be prepared for use by schools to raise awareness about POSCO Act among all stakeholders and to improve safety in the schools.

Safety boxes have to be placed on the school premises for the convenience of students to lodge their complaints and for feedback. Child Abuse Prevention Week should be observed in all schools every year between November 15 and 22.

Further, Anbil said that a 24×7 toll-free helpline with a 5-seat capacity has been set up at the DPI campus to provide information and guidance to students. “This is a single point contact for students, teachers and parents across the state to get their grievances redressed. So far, around 3.5 lakh calls have been received on this helpline,” he added.

The school education department is planning to provide hi-tech labs for 1,784 government middle schools with an outlay of Rs 114 crore. Rs 20.76 crore has been earmarked for the year 2021-22 for establishing smart classrooms in 865 government higher secondary schools.

12 new primary schools will be also be opened and 22 schools will be upgraded in the hilly and remote areas. 2,098 post-graduate teachers will be employed during the academic year 2021-22.

Rs 34 crore under the Samagra Shiksha scheme for upgrading infrastructural facilities has been allocated. Rs 116.28 crore has been allotted as a school grant that is given on an annual basis to all government schools for providing a conducive learning atmosphere.

The minister told the Assembly that the quality of education-related content that is telecast on Kalvi TV will be enhanced with the help of eminent subject experts. “It is planned to produce concept-based videos instead of content-based videos,” Anbil said.

To cover up for the loss in the learning induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the state council of educational research and training has prepared a ‘Refresher Course Module’ which covers the basic and important concepts based on critical learning. The Refresher Course will be taught for a period of about 45-50 days before taking up the prioritised syllabus when schools are reopened. Rs 95.48 crore has been allocated for this.

Rs 9.50 crore has been allotted for Special Adult Literacy Programmes for prisoners, while Rs 140.25 crore has been granted for improving public libraries.

Rs 4.74 crore has been allotted for the teachers’ recruitment board. The Tamil Nadu Teachers Eligibility Test for 2021 will be held before the end of the academic year 2021-22.

The minister further said that to encourage young writers, the government will select the three best ones under 18 years of age and will present them the ‘Kavimani’ award and cash aid of Rs 25,000.

District collectors or primary education officers who have played a huge part in improving the infrastructure, standard of education and spreading awareness among the parents will be given the Chief Minister’s award every year.

Moreover, the Connemara public library will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 3.2 crore. Steps will be taken to digitize all government school records, the minister said.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by MK Stalin, the government will take a decision to reopen schools for students of Classes 1-8 after September 15, based on how the situation is with the higher secondary classes already rolling.

In order to achieve universal Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by 2025, the ‘Ennum Ezhutthum’ mission will be launched when the schools reopen completely. The goal of the mission is to improve basic literacy and numeracy among children studying in Classes 1-3, and to ensure that every child attains the fundamental skills of reading, writing and doing basic arithmetic. Rs 66.70 crore has been earmarked for this cause.

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