The first phase of the World Bank-funded Mission Schools of Excellence project will include 3,081 government primary and secondary schools from 2,074 clusters spread across 33 districts and four municipal corporations. The state has a total of 2,575 primary and 506 secondary government schools.
A World Bank team arrived in the state on Tuesday for a four-day visit and ended up meeting with education ministers and education department officials for the first round.
Over the next five years, the project aims to transform a total of 20,000 government primary and secondary schools – 3,000 in the first phase, 7,000 in the second, and 10,000 in the third – and provide global facilities through the Mission School of Excellence.
The necessary discussions on the project’s phased planning were held during the workshop on Tuesday with World Bank representative Shabnam Sinha and her team. During their four-day visit to Gujarat, the World Bank team will visit schools in the districts of Mehsana and Sabarkantha.
There are multiple school representations in several clusters from various districts, with plans to represent one school from each cluster. The Banaskantha district has the most schools shortlisted, with 168 schools from 124 clusters.
“These 3,000 schools were chosen based on time and need.” Furthermore, within this one year, it has been divided into 100 days to begin with the maximum number of schools possible in the first 100 days, after which infrastructure development in the next 100 days will take time, according to Education Secretary Vinod Rao.
Amreli (132 schools from 70 clusters), Rajkot (131 schools from 85 clusters), and Mehsana were also chosen in the first phase (123 schools from 72 clusters).
With over Rs 8,000 crore in funding from the World Bank (WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the project is expected to benefit more than 90% of the state’s government school students.
Over the course of six years, the project aims to build 25,000 new classrooms, 1.5 lakh smart classrooms in primary and secondary schools, 25,000 computer labs, and 5000 Atal Tinkering Labs.