The education sector received the highest allocation of Rs 16,278 crore in the Delhi Budget 2022-23, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia saying the government’s focus will be on developing a boarding school for the homeless children and a science museum in a school.
However, the outlay for the sector saw a decline from the last budget when it was allocated Rs 16,377 crore. Sisodia, who is also the education minister, proposed a total outlay of Rs 16,278 crore for the education sector for the financial year 2022-23 which includes Rs 14,412 crore under revenue and Rs 1,866 crore under capital expenditure.
It is 22 per cent of the total budget outlay of 75,800 crore making it the highest allocation. Sisodia proposed Rs 10 crore for setting up a boarding school for homeless children while noting that the government has taken several measures to provide basic education to these children but the measures have only been partially successful.
“It is not possible to get quality education unless basic facilities like food and shelter are in place. The Delhi government has decided to set up a boarding school with modern facilities for these underprivileged homeless children. These schools will try to bring them into the mainstream of society,” Sisodia said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also spoke about the initiative during the post-budget press conference and said steps taken in this direction in the past did not bear the desired results because they lacked human touch.
Talking about the initiative, he said, the children will be provided emotional and psychological support at the school that will have “five-star” facilities.
“When you stop at a traffic light, you don’t pay heed to a child knocking at your window. Till date no government has paid attention to the children standing at the traffic lights that is because they are not vote banks’”, Kejriwal said.
“We will take care of them. Our government will build an excellent school for those children, they will stay there and study there. We will make them better citizens,” the chief minister added. During his speech, he also proposed to set up a science museum in a school in Chirag Enclave.
With the help of books and videos, the museum will bring alive topics related to science to help the students understand them better, he said.
“This school science museum will play an important role in developing curiosity and interest in science among children. I make a provision of Rs 50 crore for the School Science Museum in the Budget,” he said. During the budget speech, Sisodia said the ‘happiness curriculum’ and ‘deshbhakti curriculum’ have been successfully implemented in all government schools of Delhi.
“On the demand of parents and teachers, the happiness curriculum and deshbhakti curriculum are being introduced in private schools of Delhi too,” he said.
According to Sisodia, over three lakh students of class 11 and 12 of Delhi government schools have worked on 51,000 business ideas under the Business Blasters programme which too will be launched in private schools.
Talking about his last budget speech wherein he had said that the government was planning to convert all school classrooms into smart classrooms in the next five years, Sisodia said the pilot project has been completed.
From this year onwards, we are starting the work of converting all the classrooms of all the government-run schools into digital classrooms and it will completed in the next four years. The government has set up a modern Montessori lab in Sarvodaya School, Rajendra Nagar, he informed.
“Montessori lab plays a very important role in the development of early childhood education. We will set up similar Montessori labs in 100 more schools in the coming times,” he said.
The government has also started work on developing sports infrastructure in 100 selected schools according to the needs of the children. On the issue of higher technical education, Sisodia said after the AAP government came to power, five new universities — Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University (DPSRU), Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT), Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University (DSEU), Delhi Sports University (DSU) and Delhi Teachers University (DTU) — have been opened in Delhi.
Fifteen campuses of DSEU have already started operating while studies in 11 more campuses of the university will start from this year and 2,500 more children will be able to get admission. He also announced that the process of admission of about 250 sports talents from across the country has been started in the DSU.
“These sports talents will be groomed into future Olympic champions,” he added. The DTU has also started its work with full pace and we are trying our best to provide B.Ed courses from the next session after obtaining necessary approval from the central government, he said.