Laying down an ambitious road map for India's education, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said on Saturday that the union government plans to set up over 2,500 'model' and 200 central schools on a public-private partnership basis in two years.
The model schools will be set up in the backward areas to provide primary education, as "higher education has no meaning unless primary education was strengthened," Sibal said while inaugurating a central university in the tribal-dominated and underdeveloped Koraput town in Orissa.
"The schools would be set up in PPP as part of our efforts to strengthen the human resource base," Sibal said at a function held amidst tight security. ''Higher education has no meaning unless primary education was strengthened,'' he said.
Sibal also asked corporate houses to invest in a big way in the education sector. They should come forward to invest in the education sector, as developing human resources is the key to the success of any nation, Sibal said.
He remarked that though the country made progress in the field of education in the last 62 years, it required much more. "About 1.5 lakh Indian students are going abroad for education every year. We will like to provide all facilities in the country so that students need not go to foreign countries," he said.
Sibal added that only 12 out of every 100 students reach the graduation level in India, compared with 85 in the US; and added that Central universities in ''backward'' places like Koraput could help students get into higher learning. A 'core curriculum' in maths and science needs to be developed, he said.
Sibal particularly called for collaboration from state governments with regard to the Right to Education, which has been enacted into law. He said that Rs1,50,000 crore would be required for implementing the Act in the country over the next fiscal year. There is likely to be a shortfall of Rs60,000 crore in this regard, which will have to be addressed, he said.