To achieve hundred percent literacy rate in the state, government is ensuring its qualitative improvement besides expansion of educational infrastructure in the State.
As of now, Himachal is second after Kerala in term of literacy percentage which is 82.80 percent. A sum of Rs. 4,282 crore has been earmarked for education sector in the year 2014-15. Apart from this, Ministry of Human Resource and Development has approved Rs. 262 crore to the State for the financial year 2014-15 under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan.
The Ministry has also agreed to include additional budget under quality plan thereby the actual approval will be in the range of Rs. 280 to Rs. 290 crore. Ministry has approved budget of Rs. 230 crore under Integrated Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for this financial year to the State.
For improving higher education system, the Government has implemented Rashtriya Uchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and State Higher Educational Council has been constituted in the State as per RUSA guidelines. A project proposal of Rs. 956 crore has been submitted to Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India for approval under RUSA. The Government Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan in Kangra district has been opened under RUSA.
Considering significant contribution of higher education in all round development of human society and for enhancing employability of the youth, the State Government has upgraded a large number of schools in the State for the benefit of students.
The State Government has launched National Vocational Education Qualification Framework in 100 Senior Secondary Schools for the students from 9th to 12th standard with the choice of five vocations i.e. Information Technology Enabled Service (I.T.E.S.), Security, Retail, Automobile and Health Care for 9th to 12th students. 9,000 students have been enrolled under the Scheme.
The State Government has decided to extend vocational education in another 100 Government Senior Secondary Schools with three new courses i.e. Agriculture, Hospitality & Tourism and Electronics & Hardware to improve employability of students. As many as 200 vocational teachers are being appointed in these schools in the academic session 2014-15.
To encourage meritorious students in the State, the Government has decided to give cash incentive of Rs. 75,000 to any student of Himachal Pradesh getting admission in prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs and AIIMs.
For expanding the use of Information Technology in schools, 618 Government Senior Secondary Schools, 848 High Schools and 5 Smart Schools are being covered under ICT at School Scheme (Phase II) during 2014-15.
Himachal Pradesh being a hill state with tough topography, it is necessary to provide school facility in every area even if there were fewer students. It is in this background that the State government has opened Primary schools within a radius of 1.5 or 2 km across the State. The enrolment level of students in our State is one of the highest in the country. Free travel facility to Government School Students is being provided in the State.
The Government is giving importance to improve the quality of education by having the right curriculum, trained teachers and provision of their regular in-service training and making them accountable for learning levels of students.