Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to modernise 14,500 schools “a drop of water in the ocean", and asked him to prepare a plan in consultation with all states to upgrade the country’s 10 lakh government schools over next five years. “At this rate, it will take 70-80 years to improve all the 10.5 lakh schools in the country," Kejriwal told an online press conference here, a day after Modi announced the school upgradation scheme.
India cannot become the number one country in the world without ensuring free quality education for every child, Kejriwal said. On Monday, Modi announced that 14,500 schools across the country would be developed and upgraded under the ‘PM-SHRI Yojana’ and they will be equipped with modern infrastructure, including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, and sports facilities.
“This is a very good thing but just modernising 14,500 schools is like a drop of water in the ocean," Kejriwal said. “I appeal to the prime minister to make all the 10.5 lakh government schools in the country modern." The chief minister pointed out that he has often said there are a number of things that need to be done to make India the number one country in the world. Unless top class free education to every child in the country is ensured, India can not progress, he said.
प्रधानमंत्री जी को मेरा पत्र। उन्होंने 14,500 स्कूलों को अपग्रेड करने का एलान किया, बहुत अच्छा। लेकिन देश में 10 लाख सरकारी स्कूल हैं। इस तरह तो सारे स्कूल ठीक करने में सौ साल से ज़्यादा लग जाएँगे। आपसे अनुरोध है कि सभी दस लाख स्कूलों को एक साथ ठीक करने का प्लान बनाया जाए। pic.twitter.com/Cegk9XvIDZ— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 7, 2022
“A big mistake happened after India gained independence. We should have ensured good quality education and schools in every village and nook and corner of the country. If everyone was educated, India would not be a poor country," Kejriwal said. He added he would launch the Aam Aadmi Party’s “Make India No. 1" campaign from his hometown of Hisar in Haryana on Wednesday and later visit other states to connect people with the movement. Anyone wishing to join the campaign can give a call on 95100 01000, he said.
The campaign has been announced by the AAP chief in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 as part of a plan to expand the party base. “We are still backward despite 75 years of Independence. It’s a dream of 130 crore people to see India become the best country in the world," Kejriwal said.
Read | Centre Should Modernise All Schools: Kejriwal on PM Shri Yojana
“India has not developed because of its politicians and things will not change till the people unite and work as a team and family. If that happens, no power can stop India from becoming the number one country in the world," he said. Modi had said under the Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) scheme, the schools will become model schools, encapsulating the full spirit of the new National Education Policy.
“Today, on #TeachersDay I am glad to announce a new initiative – the development and upgradation of 14,500 schools across India under the Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) Yojana. These will become model schools which will encapsulate the full spirit of NEP," he said in a series of tweets. Noting that the National Education Policy has transformed the education sector in the recent years, the PM had also said, “I am certain that the PM-SHRI schools will further benefit lakhs of students across India in the spirit of NEP".
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