The HRD ministry has allocated a special grant of Rs 35 crore to the Jaipur state education department which has created a new cadre of panchayat elementary education officers (PEEOs) to 'decentralize' administrative resources.
Under this scheme, primary and upper primary schools will come under these officers in rural areas. They will carry out inspection, supervision of all educational centres—schools, training centres and 'anganwadis'—falling under their panchayats.
The state has appointed 10,000 PEEOs for the said purpose with one person each in every gram panchayat.
Earlier, the task of inspections was being done by district education officers (DEOs) and block level education officers (BLEOs). The size of districts and blocks are so large which makes it impractical for block officers to visit these schools even once. Officials say that the absence of inspections was neutralizing reforms introduced in the education sector.
Sources said that each PEEO would be allocated Rs 35,000 divided into two parts: Rs 25,000 for office expenses and Rs 10,000 for conveyance. They are required to extensively travel inspecting schools, preparing reports and suggesting solutions.
'The decentralization of monitoring has come as a relief for overburdened education officers. It has helped us to channelize available human resource,' said Vasudev Devnani, education officer, Rajasthan, who formulated this scheme.
Explaining the feasibility of the scheme, Aziz Ahmed Shiekh, principal of a government school at Mahadi, Udaipur, who has been appointed PEEO, said, 'We have six primary and two 'anganwadi' centres in our panchayat. I am in a better position to monitor and guide them regularly. Secondly, I can fix some of their problems like availability of books, teachers and other resources locally.'
Sources said that the HRD ministry had allocated funds to check the feasibility of the scheme. 'If they find it works, they will recommend it for other states,' said an officer.