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Training students for hackathons, revamped infra — all about new ‘PM-SHRI’ scheme for schools

Different from Kendriya & Navodaya Vidyalayas, these schools will run on Centre-state partnership & follow NEP in its entirety. First lot is likely to be announced by December.

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New Delhi: The Modi government has set the ball rolling to select ‘model schools’ under the ambitious PM Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI) scheme with the Ministry of Education set to declare the first list by the end of the year, ThePrint has learnt.

The scheme will bring existing government schools under its fold, revamp the infrastructure and curriculum to follow the New Education Policy (NEP) in its entirety and rename them by adding the PM-SHRI prefix to distinguish them from other institutions.

Different from the government-run Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas, these schools will operate in partnership with the state governments. The central government will contribute 60 per cent of the funds and the rest will be borne by the state, except in the Northeast where the ratio will be 90:10. The Cabinet had cleared the scheme last month, and the ministry is now working on its fine print.

The education ministry is targeting to turn more than 14,000 schools across the country into top grade schools, with the first lot expected to be announced by December. The idea is to take the number to over 14,000 in the next two years, sources associated with the scheme informed ThePrint.

Government schools will have to apply for selection under the scheme, which will be done on the basis of their existing infrastructure, including building, functional toilets, ramp, ITC (Information Technology and Communication) facilities, student-teacher ratio and quality of education among others. Applications will have to be submitted on a portal which will be opened by the end of October.

The central government has already shortlisted nearly 2.5 lakh government schools, who would be able to apply for the PM-SHRI tag.

“We want to create excellent schools for children, wherein the focus is on quality of education and on the development of the student, rather than only on the development of the school. Children studying in PM-SHRI schools should be able to participate in Hackathons, excel in studies, science projects and everything that is expected of children from a good school,” said a senior ministry official.

The schools will be assessed on the basis of 125 standards under six broad parameters of ‘curriculum, pedagogy and assessment’, ‘access and infrastructure’, ‘Human resources – leadership’, ‘inclusive practices and gender equity’, ‘management, monitoring and governance’ and ‘beneficiary satisfaction’.

The ministry is still working on the finer details of the assessment parameters and will soon make it public, the senior official informed.

Once selected, the schools will be monitored regularly by both Central and state governments and will have to ensure that they are following the standards expected to retain the PM-SHRI tag.

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