State Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad inaugurates e-Balbharati project and classrooms in 725 schools on Friday. (Photo: Ashish Kale)
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government is committed to improving the quality of Marathi-medium schools in Maharashtra and sustaining them, said state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad. She took a dig at the previous government, during whose tenure hundreds of government schools were shut due to poor enrolment.
“We have decided to make Marathi compulsory in all schools. Also, rather than closing down schools, the education department will work towards improving the quality of these schools, wherever there is a lacunae. Parents need not fear shutdown; instead, we will raise the bar so high that our government schools will have more enrolment than private schools,” she said.
The minister, who faced a barrage of questions regarding scholarship scheme for school students, issues of pre-primary school fee and so on, said the state was setting up a thinktank to address these issues.
“The education department has planned to bring thinktanks and experts on board to make changes and bring efficiency into decision making,” she added.
Gaikwad was in the city on Friday to inaugurate virtual classrooms at 725 schools, an initiative under the e-Balbharati project. She addressed a press conference after the event. Three studios have been set up at e-Balbharati in Shivajinagar as part of the project. The studios will help establish contact with classrooms in rural and remote areas.
Speaking to the media after the inauguration of the virtual classrooms, Gaikwad said, “The initiative is being implemented to ensure equal and quality education opportunities for all. Education should not be restricted to textbooks in future. We hope this platform is used to introduce newer subjects, including leadership skills and entrepreneurship.”
Balbharati has also launched audio textbooks for visually challenged students of Classes VIII to X.