As many as 111 government high and higher secondary schools identified in 30 districts will soon have better classrooms and laboratories.
The schools will also be getting anywhere between five to 15 classrooms, which have been sanctioned based on the student strength in the institutions. The Public Works Department (PWD) will soon begin work, officials said.
With 21 schools identified, Pudukottai district has the highest number of schools that will be covered under the project, followed by Salem and Villupuram districts. Nearly 885 classrooms will be added in these schools, PWD officials said.
The schools will also be provided with better amenities such as drinking water and toilets, and the facilities will benefit 67,213 students. The school campuses will also have compound walls constructed to a total length of nearly 39.4 km.
“The ₹200-crore project is being taken up under NABARD’s Rural Infrastructure Development Fund. The work is expected to be completed within a year,” said an official from the department.
Tenders have been finalised and work is expected to start in one or two months. The schools in the State are being provided with better infrastructure with the help of NABARD and this is the 17th phase under the project, the officials added.
K.P.O. Suresh, State president of the Tamil Nadu Post Graduate Teachers Association, said that equal importance must be given towards maintenance of the infrastructure. “Several schools in rural areas have toilets that have not been functioning or don’t have proper water connections. It is important that special focus is given to girls’ schools and the sanitation facilities are upgraded,” he said. He further added that while most schools had science laboratories, the equipment supplied was often outdated.
Moreover, the School Education Department is also in the process of providing safe drinking water to 2,448 government high and higher secondary schools. The department had passed a government order following the announcement of the Chief Minister in June this year. This project too will be executed by the PWD.
Water from overhead tanks will be treated through reverse osmosis plants in schools. Each plant will cost ₹2 lakh and the project will be funded under the MLA’s Constituency Development Scheme. The project will be implemented at a cost of ₹48.96 crore, officials said.