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Punjab Government Proposes ₹3,000 Crore Action Plan for Samagra Shiksha Program

The Punjab government has presented a comprehensive ₹3,000-crore action plan under the Samagra Shiksha program. This flagship centrally sponsored initiative for school education aims to address various facets, including quality education, access and retention, and vocational education.

The proposed budget spans the financial years 2024-25 and 2025-26, with an annual allocation of ₹1,476 crore for each year. This marks a commendable 14% increase compared to the current year’s budget. The Samagra Shiksha program operates on a joint funding model, with the central and state governments contributing on a 60:40 sharing basis, emphasizing their commitment to transforming the education landscape.

Outlined in the action plan are specific allocations for key areas of focus. An earmarked ₹503 crore is dedicated to initiatives and interventions related to quality education, emphasizing the importance of an enriched learning experience. Additionally, ₹225 crore has been allocated for measures addressing access and retention, ensuring that more students can benefit from an inclusive education system. Another significant chunk of ₹188 crore is set aside for the promotion and implementation of vocational education, equipping students with practical skills for the future.

The proposed initiatives include the construction of new classrooms and toilets, improved drinking water facilities, the promotion of commerce and science education, teacher training, digital initiatives, strengthening school libraries, and the installation of solar panels. Furthermore, the plan envisions introducing vocational education in all high and senior secondary schools, reflecting a forward-looking approach to skill development.

The Samagra Shiksha Project Approval Board, led by Union school education and literacy secretary Sanjay Kumar, will review the budget proposals in the upcoming month. The central government’s share of ₹886 crore, coupled with the state government’s commitment of ₹590 crore, underscores the collaborative effort to create a robust educational framework.

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