The state government has initiated various drives to ensure that all children within the age group of 5-11 are enrolled into schools. Specific emphasis has also been laid to enrol girls in schools. Similarly the state government is also working towards improving the enrolment as well as the retention rates in Secondary and Higher Secondary classes.
Higher and technical education
The government has also attempted to engage the private sector more actively in the non – formal modes of education. There have been initiatives relating to skill development and language skill improvement. These initiatives have been briefly discussed in the following sections.
Private Universities Bill
By this measure, the time required for the approval process of formulating a University has been brought down to roughly 6 months. This will now enable the state to easily attract private sector investments in the education sector.
Instituting an Independent Regulator
The Society for Creation of Opportunities through proficiency in English (SCOPE) is a registered society formed by the Govt OF Gujarat with a specific purpose to enhance the proficiency in English among the Gujarat youth all over the State by imparting world-class quality training in practical business English.
Gujarat Knowledge Society (GKS) is a society formed by the Govt. of Gujarat to prepare the youth for the knowledge based economy and society so as to stimulate creation of world class knowledge resources by developing new competencies in skills. It uses PPP model in which demand- driven skill training programmes are delivered by private training agencies in the classrooms & computer labs of existing Government schools & colleges.
GTU has been established in the year 2007 to cover Technical Education of the State under one umbrella so as to have a common academic setup all over the Gujarat. The university will also seek to improve upon the curriculum of various disciplines so as to serve the human race better.
The plan budget by the Education Department for the year 2009-10 is estimated to be approximately Rs. 1600 crores . This is in addition to non- plan expenditure of about Rs. 6000 Crores in education. This is a big push for the state; typically, budgetary allocation for education has been paltry.
Demand for school education was established using cohort population projections till the year 2021. The number of students who will be in the age groups 4 to 16 years were projected and the total was utilized to make demand projections.
The above figures are staggering when seen in the context of the education infrastructure required to provide quality education to all the children. This in itself represents a substantially large investment opportunity.
Higher and technical education
To enable itself in becoming an education hub, Gujarat will have to first compete with some of the states within the country. For instance, Andhra Pradesh alone currently has about 145000 seats for engineering. If Gujarat is to achieve this number of seats, it will have to add about 122,000 seats. This would mean that Gujarat will need over 160 colleges with 750 seats each to be established by the year 2021.