Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Chandigarh, June 3
Despite no paucity of funds, the Haryana School Education Department has been lagging as far as spending on infrastructure development in schools is concerned.
The Project Approval Board, Samagra Shiksha, has pointed out that while Rs 427.53 crore was allocated to the department for school infrastructure development in 2022-23, only Rs 88.84 crore (20 per cent) was utilised.
Another Rs 129.73 crore was allocated for IT and digital initiatives, but the board could spend only Rs 49.27 crore (38 per cent). Of the total allocation of Rs 1,618.58 crore in 2022-23, Rs 1,014.16 crore was spent.
This is not the first time that the allocated budgets remained unutilised. In 2021-22, against the allocation of Rs 297.45 crore for infrastructure, just Rs 24.09 crore was spent.
The facts came to light in the department’s presentation during a meeting of the PAB to consider the annual work plan and budget where Rs 2,013.46 crore was approved for 2023-24 with the Centre’s share of Rs 1,010.74 crore.
In a recent statement, the department had said of 14,281 schools, 131 did not have drinking water facilities, 236 had electricity and 1,585 toilets, including 535 for girls, needed to be constructed.
The PAB said students’ learning outcomes and quality had remained stagnant for the past three years (2018-19 to 2020-21) in performance grading index.
Nuh recorded a dropout rate of 16.2 per cent at the secondary level, followed by Panchkula (14 per cent), Faridabad (8.6 per cent), Panipat (8.2 per cent), and Karnal (6.8 per cent).
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