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March 17, 2018
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Govt. schools to get a faceliftCorporate houses, NGOs to improve infrastructure, quality of education

The education department has sought the support of corporate houses to improve infrastructure in schools. The department has roped in non-governmental organisations to upgrade the quality of education.

While the funds will be part of companies’ corporate social responsibility activity, the non-governmental organisations would pitch in with ideas to improve pedagogy. It would help in training teachers and making students learn skills.

School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan, who inaugurated a day-long seminar on improving quality of education in schools, said though the government allotted around ₹30,000 crore in the budget annually for school education, over 60% went towards salary.

There was never enough money to improve basic amenities such as building and maintaining toilets and providing drinking water or even building a compound wall.

“We need to upgrade the infrastructure in schools to retain students, especially girls, who face adverse health problems ,” he said.

The department had signed an agreement with SRM University to build 20 smart classrooms at a cost of ₹40 lakh , the Minister said.

Earlier, Industries Minister M.C. Sampath said the Confederation of Indian Industry had been roped in so that the companies would participate in the process of upgrading schools.

Mr. Sampath said the companies that fund would be recognised through plaques in schools. Though the government would not interfere in the methods or procedures that the NGO or the company may follow, there would be a supervisory committee to oversee the progress of the projects, Mr. Sengottaiyan said.

M. Palaniswamy, vice-chairman of CII Tamil Nadu State Council, said the aim was to reduce dropout rates in schools. “Companies adopt a school here or there and improve facilities. We have now decided to come together and adopt a few schools to upgrade them. CII has offices in nine places in the State and with multinational companies, educational institutions and medium and small scale industries in our confederation we will be able to offer funds and also skill expertise. We already have established one such centre in Guindy where skill training is offered,” he said.