Jaipur, The Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje said that imparting quality education was of utmost importance for the state to attain new heights of development. Improvement in level of education by enhancing its quality was the priority of the state government. Emphasizing on reforms in education sector, she said that the human resources of education sector needed to be utilised optimally and judiciously. Then only, we would be able to compete with other leading states and make Rajasthan stand in the frontlinestates, she added.
Smt. Raje was addressing the inaugural session of a special conference on Challenges and Strategies: New Areas of Innovations at Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration here on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister said that during the visit to Bharatpur Division under the Sarkar Aapke Dwar campaign while visiting schools we were shocked to know that children had neither learnt tables nor they were able to read simple Hindi properly. She said that talking about investment and progress of Rajasthan would have no meaning if our schools were in dismal state, she stated.
Smt. Raje said that during her previous government, efforts were made to promote teaching of English language. Motive of this was to give the children a choice and give them opportunity to become global citizens. This would enable them to create space for them anywhere in the world. She said that during previous government Mid-Day Meal was our focus area and to connect young children with school and provide them nutritious food contracts were made on Public-Private-Partnership mode. Now, this programme had gone wayside and the state government was committed to improve upon this too, she observed.
The Chief Minister said that the state government was spending Rs 16,000 crores per year on 65 lakh school students, which amounted to about Rs 25,000 per child. Even after enormous expenditure on education, the parameters of education were not improving. She said that education and employment were two major issues before the state today. Youth of this country wished to have good education and employment and we needed to think over this seriously, she said. Smt. Raje also expressed concern about the decreasing standards of female literacy. She said that several litigations regarding RTET were pending when she assumed the office. So, the state government decided to conduct only one examination for teachers' eligibility and recruitment.
The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Shri Gulab Chand Kataria said that the quality education was the sole axis for development of any state. He suggested for making performance as a criteria for transfer of teachers' in the transfer policy, promotion of sports activities and effective regular inspection of schools. He highlighted the need for stringent steps to improve education system.
The Education Minister Shri Kali Charan Saraf said that for a balanced student-teacher ratio in the schools , the state government decided to work on a rationalisation policy. An optional board examination too had been decided for the grade VIII students, for which 1.8 lakh applications were received.
Three committees had been constituted for school, technical and higher education to look into the suggestions received during the conference. These committees would also work on the ideas received earlier from other sources. Innovative ideas and experiences from the general public and educationists were also invited through post, mail and website of the education department.
During the conference Additional chief secretary Shri S S Agrawal gave presentation on the scenario of education in the state. Additional chief secretary Women and Child Development Smt. Gurjot Kaur, Secretary Labour Shri Rajat Mishra, Commissioner Panchayati Raj Shri Rajesh Yadav also gave presentations. The Principal Secretary Shri Srimat Pandey, other officials of the department, several educationists and representatives of voluntary organisations were also present on the occasion. The Chief Secretary Shri Rajiv Mehrishi proposed a vote of thanks.