Panaji: The Comptroller Auditor General has exposed the government’s failure and policy paralysis in the school education sector. The CAG pointed out various shortfalls of the government indicating lethargy and financial bankruptcy plaguing this government.
The government failed to prepare perspective 5 year plans, Annual Work Plans and Budget at the district level because of which the Central Government withheld valuable funds that could have improved the quality of education for our Goan students. There has been a drop in the enrollment ratio. The infrastructure works in various schools are pending, the government has not provided uniforms to students. 400+ schools are operating with just one teacher when rules mandate a minimum of two teachers. The state government failed to utilise 50% of funds for computer education. The Government has failed to ensure that all schools have constituted a School Management Committee (SMC)/ School Management Development Committee (SMDC) and that they meet at least once a month.
Besides these failures noted by the CAG, the LAQ reply to Goa Forward President Shri Vijai Sardesai reveals even more lapses. The government claims that no amount was allocated by the centre towards SSA for the year 2021-22. However, the reply given in Parliamentary Question states that Rs 18.6 Cr was approved by the GoI of which 4.1 Cr was released.
The amount for maintenance of schools has been brought down from Rs 20 Cr in 2021-22 to 30 lakhs 2022-23.
Under Samagra Shiksha financial assistance is provided to States/ UTs for
various ICT and Digital initiatives for setting up of ICT labs, and smart classrooms including support for digital boards, virtual classrooms and DTH channels. States have an option to avail of non-recurring grant for setting up of ICT labs in schools having classes 6 to 12 up to ₹ 6.40 lakh per school and recurring grant of up to ₹ 2.40 lakh per school per annum for a period of 5 years OR non-recurring grant of ₹ 2.40 lakh for Smart Classrooms (Maximum 2 smart classrooms per school) and a recurring grant of ₹ 0.38 lakh. The recurring cost includes support for instructor, E-Content and Digital Resources, Charges for Electricity and Internet connectivity, etc
Shockingly, LAQ reply reveals that the government has not setup any smart classroom during the last 10 years. Under Coding and Robotics Education in Schools (CARES) Scheme for which 25 Crores was allocated last year, not a single lab has been set up. Even the tender for the scheme has not been awarded.
Under the Atal Tinkering Lab Scheme, 18 schools have availed funding. However, of the Rs 10 lakh Established amount, the first instalment of Rs 2 lakhs has been received by only 18 schools whereas only 5 schools have received the second statement of 2 lakhs. Not a single government school is on the list of 18 schools which have availed of the scheme.
The Goa Forward Party condemns the State government and especially the education Minister Dr Pramod Sawant for failing to implement the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme in Goa.