6,000 Model Schools On Way - Emphasis On English !

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) As many as 6,000 Model Schools-- one per Block-- will be set up across India, with ''special emphasis... on teaching of English,'' the Human Resource Development Ministry announced this evening.

The Ministry said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a centrally sponsored scheme under which 2,500 model schools will be set up in the first phase in 'educationally backward blocks.' The announcement said the scheme would be implemented from the current financial year-- but not in six States where assembly elections are being held until after the poll process.

It said these schools would be set up through State governments.

Each model school will have infrastructure and facilities at least of the standard of a Kendriya Vidyalaya and entail certain as yet unspecified pupil-teacher ratio, it said.

The scheme stipulates information and communication technology ''usage, holistic educational environment, appropriate curriculum and emphasis on output and outcome.'' It is intended to give each block at least one good quality secondary school as a pace setter and model in terms of infrastructure, curriculum, evaluation and school governance, the announcement said.

Under the scheme, the State governments will give land for these schools free of cost and decide the medium of instructions, although ''special emphasis will be given on teaching of English and spoken English.'' The schools will be run by State government societies similar to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and have classes from VI to XII, or IX to XII, it said.

A continuous evaluation of the working of the schools will be made by State government agencies through a regular and well structured system of field visits, it said, adding that an independent agency may be assigned to monitor the scheme, including progress of construction for each State.

It said setting up 2,500 schools during the 11th Five Year Plan is estimated to cost Rs 9,321 crore, of which the central share is estimated to be Rs 7,457 crore.

The Planning Commission has allocated Rs 12,750 crore for the scheme under the 11th Five Year Plan and provided Rs 650 crore in the 2008-09 budget.

The Centre-State will share the cost 75:25 during the 11th Five Year Plan and 50:50 during the 12th Five Year Plan. The ratio for special category States will be 90:10.

UNI MJ RP HT1945

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