NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary committee has suggested setting a time frame for opening new schools, as only 11,990 schools out of 12,682 could become functional between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Recommending a time frame for starting of the new secondary schools, the Parliament Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, headed by Dr Satyanarayan Jatiya, in its report tabled in Parliament, urged the Department to look into the factors holding back opening of schools, despite having the requisite approval.
From the actual expenditure of the Department of School Education and Literacy, which was set up to provide free and compulsory education to all children at elementary level, the report also noted that while the budgetary allocation of Rs 50,000 crore was being ''shown as an increasing trend compared to previous years, but as compared to the GDP, the percentage share has been continuously decreasing.
'' ''The Committee would like to impress upon the Department to make efforts to increase the budget allocation to the Department and simultaneously, spend the resources available in a balanced and judicious manner, so that the optimum results can be obtained in the given resources,'' it observed.
On the worrying trend of rise in dropout rates among the Scheduled Caste children, which had risen from 18.66 per cent in 2013-14 to 19.36 per cent in 2014-15, figures of which were available, the Committee members were hopeful that the situation had improved in the subsequent years and demanded the Department to look into the reasons for the high dropout rate and fix the problem through remedial measures.
Turning to the inability of states to adhere to procedures like timely submission of audit reports, delay in release of matching state share and other procedures which were acting as impediment to the smooth functioning of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RSMA), the panel wanted that the Department ensure that the states comply with the remedial measures for the smooth implementation of RSMA.
About shortage of teachers, the Committee observed that under the RMSA, 122,482 teachers had been approved, out of which 61,374 were recruited, less than 50 per cent of the approved number, expressing concern at the state of affairs.
The Committee recommended that the remaining vacancies be filled up at the earliest, to ensure that the quality of education did not suffer at the grass root level.
It further observed that out of 2,549 girl hostels, only 1,316 were functional, terming it as ''not acceptable'' as the girl hostels would motivate more girl students to take its benefits.