Yet again this year, education received the highest allocation (26.3%) in the Delhi Budget, with funds being allocated to install 150-200 CCTVs in each school and to develop a ranking system for government schools. Allocation increased from last year’s Rs 11,300 crore to Rs 13,997 crore in Thursday’s budget.
Stressing on the need to keep students safe, Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said 1.2 lakh CCTV cameras will be installed across government schools. “An outlay of Rs 175 crore has been proposed in the budget estimate 2018-19. About 150-200 cameras will be installed in each school building. Parents will now be able to see classroom activities of their children online,” Sisodia said. The plan was announced in the last budget but was not implemented as it remained stuck in the tendering process.
Rs 15 crore for ranking government schools will be given to the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. “Parents are concerned about the safety of their wards. They don’t have access to authentic information on quality of education, environment and facilities in schools. We are bringing a new scheme under which every school will be evaluated…,” he said.
Continuing the scheme to strengthen school management committees, the bodies will be given a Rs 5 lakh budget to purchase books for libraries, teaching aids, etc.
The proposals, though, came under criticism. “Investments that focus on installation of CCTVs and online streaming of classrooms promote a bizarre and dangerous mode of surveillance of teachers and children. It does not create a trusting, creative and good learning environment,” said Anita Rampal, a professor in DU’s Department of Education.
The government also said it will give tablets to teachers — another promise made last year. Rs 10 crore has been allocated to teach girl students self-defence.