Bilingual learning from Class 1, child tracking system and transport policy soon for school students: State education minister

Bilingual learning from Class 1 will soon be initiated in all state-run schools as part of the Shikshit Maharashtra, Samarth Rashtra 2025 vision plan, said Varsha Gaikwad, school education minister of Maharashtra on Saturday. The education minister discussed the vision plan for improving school education by 2025 with the Chief Minister (CM) of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray.

The minister highlighted key pointers of the vision plan stating, "In order to make education more inclusive, state-run schools shall soon shift to bilingual learning from Class 1. Funds will be ring fenced for bettering labs and infrastructure in schools. An integrated child tracking system is on the cards."

Over 5000 'model' schools will be build to ensure high quality early childhood care and education. Gaikwad said, "By 2025, every child in the three to six years age group should have the basic ability to read, write and perform basic operations with numbers. We will build at least 5000 'model' schools."

The goal of the Shikshit Maharashtra, Samarth Rashtra 2025 vision plan is to make schooling more inclusive and reduce dropout rates further. Gaikwad said, "We will enhance focus on e-governance, streamline funding management and staff recruitment, fill up vacant teaching posts and increase accountability in teaching. Targetted interventions will be made at every level from pedagogy to teacher training."

As part of the plan, a world class educational-cum-cultural complex will come up at Mumbai's Bal Bhavan. Gaikwad said, "Science parks are popular in Europe. To inculcate a deeper scientific temper in our society, we are building the Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi Science City. The idea is to expand the museum experience by incorporating immersive experiences. We also plan to set up a Maharashtra Education Technology Forum, an open platform for exchange of ideas for using technology to better schooling. A world class educational-cum-cultural complex will come up at Bal Bhavan in Mumbai."

In addition, a dedicated fund for repairs of state-run schools will be created along with the launch of a portal for school transformation through CSR and community funding. Gaikwad said, "We will build an assessment centre for improving learning outcomes and grade schools on performance. A dedicated transport policy for students is being considered. Funds will be needed for National Education Policy (NEP) implementation."

Further, Gaikwad said, "We will need community support. We will soon launch a portal for school transformation through CSR and community funding. We have achieved universalisation of education to a large extent. We must now focus on making education more qualitative and equitable."

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