The 2019-20 budgetary provision of ₹1,581 crore and the announcement of a new policy are set to make a turnaround in the infrastructure of education in Rajasthan. The Congress government has claimed that its new initiatives, including the holding of ‘Baal Sabha’ (Children’s Assembly) at public places, have helped reduce dropout rate in the schools.Minister of State for Education Govind Singh Dotasara has announced the establishment of English medium schools in 167 blocks and an increase in the annual income ceiling from ₹1 lakh to ₹2.50 lakh for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He said this while replying to the demands of grants for his department in the State Assembly during the ongoing Budget session.The ₹1,581 crore sanctioned under the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan School Infrastructure Scheme would be utilised for construction of over 14,000 classrooms, laboratories and libraries and 23 new school buildings as well as renovation of 83 buildings. Besides, the new education policy would incorporate fresh initiatives, experiments and research.Mr. Dotasara also announced the widening of purview of the student police cadet scheme to cover 930 government schools and a new “exposure to vocational education” programme for the students of VI to VIII classes. The existing agriculture subject would be replaced with the full-fledged agriculture faculty, which would include agricultural chemistry and agricultural biology.The demands were passed by voice vote in the Assembly after the Minister’s reply. Mr. Dotasara informed the House that the schools closed by the previous BJP government, despite their fulfilment of all parameters, would be reopened. A committee had received proposals from 1,511 secondary schools and 1,324 primary schools for reopening on the basis of fulfilment of the RTE norms.An initiative taken by the Rajasthan Council of School Education for organising ‘Baal Sabhas’ of government schools at public places in the villages has raised academic standards and reduced dropout rate of students. The participation of parents and village elders had especially made these events interactive.Council’s Deputy Director Manaram Jakhar said here that ‘Baal Sabhas’ had led to an effective participation of local communities in the management of schools and helped bring qualitative improvement to school education, besides enhancing creativity of students. He said the Education Department was making efforts for increasing enrolment of students and ensuring their stay at various levels in the schools.In another significant decision, the Education Department has allowed the students enrolled with the open schools to write their examination in Rajasthani language, which has also been included as a subject. The State government will also prepare a draft report to provide maximum benefits to the students studying in open schools.