TN schools not being able to carry out maintenance work due to funds delay

CHENNAI: The delay in releasing funds from the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has led to schools in Tamil Nadu not being able to properly carry out maintenance work before the onset of the monsoon which is slated to arrive in the state on Saturday.
The SSA scheme provides Rs 10,000 for schools having sanctioned strength of 1 to 30 students, while others with 31 to 100 students will be granted Rs 25,000.
The schools with students between 101 to 250 will get Rs 50.000 and those with 251 to 500 students will receive Rs 75,000.
Meanwhile, schools with more than 1,000 students will get Rs 1 lakh. The funds are used for maintenance works, including minor repairs in the schools buildings, installing drinking water facilities, electricity maintenance works, and purchasing teaching-learning materials.
The money sanctioned by the SSA will have to be spent within the academic year and in most of the times, the funds are released during the fag end of the financial year. This leads to funds being spent for unnecessary requirements.
A headmaster of a primary school in Tiruchirapally told IANS: “Most of the schools require this money so that basic minimum repair works ahead of the monsoon is completed. This includes minor school building maintenance work, repairs for electricity connection, water connectivity, and lights and switches in classrooms.”
However, sources in the state education department told IANS that in the previous academic year, the money was sanctioned in March and August and it was spent properly on the maintenance of the school building as well as electric connections.
The delay, according to the department, is due to certain issues with the newly-opened single nodal accounts.