Municipal School Education Board Surat (MSEBS) has proposed a draft budget of Rs 731.55 crore for 2023-’24, an increase of Rs 16.62 crore from last year, with plans to convert 20 existing schools to model schools having smart classes at Rs 50 crore. The proposal will be sent to Surat Municipal Corporation general board for further clearance.
MSEBS administrative officer Vimal Desai proposed the draft budget at a meeting on Monday. The Board runs 327 schools with 1.72 lakh students and 3,690 teachers where education from Class 1 to Class 8 is imparted in Gujarati, English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Odiya and Telgu mediums.
According to MSEBS sources, it was proposed to spend Rs 50 crore to convert existing 20 schools to Model Schools with smart classrooms having digital school boards, library, science laboratory and computer laboratory, along with gaming equipment to enhance learning. Thej proposal drafts colourful buildings for wings that house classes 3 to 8.
In 2020, the SMC expanded its area of operation, adding two nagar palikas and 27 Gram Panchayats. The new areas had 35 schools, earlier run by district panchayats. Onwards March 2023, the SMC will take over the schools.
However, LoP in the MSEB Rakesh Hirpara of AAP objected to the draft proposal. “There is shortage of teachers in the already existing schools. Plus, last year’s budget set aside Rs 3 crore for medical facilities to students and accidental insurance policy of parents. Nothing has come of it. Another Rs 15 lakh was proposed to be spent on stationery, Rs 50 lakh on a video-conference room, skill development centre, social science centre and a language classroom. Where have these funds been misappropriated? There is no guarantee that the proposed Rs 50 crorers will be put into making of Model Schools,” he spelt out his party’s objection.
Hirpara also suggested rooftop solar panels in school buildings and keeping a tab on cleanliness and sanitation in schools. However, MEBS administrative officer Vimal Desai counteracted saying: “Our plan is to make learning interesting. The budget also proposes providing school uniforms, books and shoes.”