CHENNAI: The Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday made announcements on upgrading school education in the State, including virtual classrooms in 770 government schools, introduction of bio-metric attendance for students and teachers at a cost of Rs 45 crore, computer-based education centres in 555 government middle schools, distribution of maths and science kits, and raincoats, boots and socks for students in hilly areas at a cost of Rs 8 crore, doubling the cash award for best teachers, besides creation of Rs 60.79 crore-worth infrastructure.
Making a statement under Rule 110 in the State Assembly, Jayalalithaa said virtual classrooms using would be introduced and 11 district-level teacher training institutes in the first phase, at an estimated cost of Rs 33.22 crore.
Stating that three primary schools would be upgraded as middle schools and 19 middle schools as high schools, she said 95 new teaching vacancies would be created in these schools. Drinking water, toilet, kitchen and other such facilities would be created in these schools at a cost of Rs 28.52 crore.
In the last five years, infrastructure worth Rs 4,166 crore was made for schools. As a continuation of this, similar works would be carried out for Rs 60.79 crore this year, added the CM. The works included school buildings, classrooms, toilets, drinking water, facilities for persons with disabilities, computer rooms, arts and craft rooms, libraries, and renovation and repair.
A primary and middle school to meet the needs of 1,694 children at Perumbakkam and Ezhil Nagar were also in the offing.
Simplified Activity Based Learning (SABL) cards would be given to students in 7,000 Government and Government-aided schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Villupuram, Vellore, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tuticorin and Krishnagiri districts at a cost of Rs 5 crore. Maths and Science kits would also be given to 73,636 children at a cost of Rs 46.42 crore.
The CM added that to improve learning and teaching methodologies in middle schools, animation videos with background voice would be provided to the benefit nearly 22 lakh students. To create social awareness in young minds, Rs 11 crore was allotted to conduct competitions based on themes like Right to Education Act, importance of educating girl children, gender sensitisation and cleanliness.