Model schools in each block soon, says President

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) Soon each block of the country will have a model high quality school to set a standard of excellence that can be emulated by other schools, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil said here today.

Addressing a joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of the session, Ms Patil said the decision to set up the model school was part of the Government's commitment to providing universal access to high quality secondary education.

She said the elementary education was also being strengthened with the expansion of the mid-day meal programme for children to the Upper Primary level in 3479 educationally backward blocks.

The President said higher education would receive massive investment in the 11th Plan with 30 new central universities, 370 new colleges in educationally backward districts, and expansion in the number of institutes of technical education. As many as eight new India Institutes of Technology, 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Management, and two more Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research in addition to the three started at Pune, Kolkata and Mohali would be set up during the Plan.

Ms Patil said the National Skill Devellopment Mission would ensure employability of youth and address the skill deficit presently felt in some sectors of the economy.

UNI NAZ VD KN1551

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