Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir administration has embarked on a mission to increase enrolment and arrest the dropout rate in government-run schools.
Official sources told The Kashmir Monitor that at least 500 kindergartens will be established in government schools providing early child care education.
“The motive is to increase the overall enrolment at the primary level. It is also aimed at enhancing numerical and foundational literacy in the union territory,” they said.
In the last two years, the school education department had already started over 2000 kindergartens in Jammu and Kashmir schools, which has helped the administration to increase the enrolment in the schools.
“The setting up of kindergartens has helped the department to attract parents to enroll their children in the government-run schools. In 2020, the enrollment jumped to over one lakh, which was highest in recent years,” they said.
Figures by the education department suggested that the government and private schools in the Union Territory registered a cumulative enrollment of 22,07,296 students with 80% of schools functioning in the government sector.
As per the educational indicators on the revised population on the pattern of the UIDAI, the gross enrolment ratio in respect of Jammu and Kashmir at primary level, upper primary level, high school, and higher secondary level is 111.65%, 80.53%, 72.52%, and 60.53%, respectively.
In December last year, Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta also directed the education department to expeditiously open kindergartens across all 8,000 government schools in a staggered manner.
Apart from the Kindergartens, sources said the administration is equally focusing on establishing 518 smart or virtual classrooms in higher secondary schools.
“This step has been taken for imparting quality education to students at secondary school level. To meet this requirement schools have to be provided with faster internet connections, new LAN systems, computer systems, desks, and other equipment,” they said.
Pertinently, the establishment of the ‘Smart Classroom’ initiative has been taken up by the government under the ‘Smart City’ project
As per an official document, the administration is also mulling to establish 200 vocational laboratories to impart skill training among the students.
In at least 40 schools vocational labs will act as hubs for imparting vocational/skill training,” it said.