Darjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has decided to invest around Rs 26 crore to build 56 school buildings across the Darjeeling hills.
Amar Singh Rai, Darjeeling MLA and member of the education department of the GTA's board of administrators, said: "Under the Sarva Siksha Mission, the GTA has decided to construct 20 primary school buildings and 36 upper primary school buildings. Tenders have already been floated."
Upper primary schools have classes till VIII.
Sources said that primary schools building would be built at a cost of Rs 28 lakh each while construction of a upper primary school building would cost of Rs 58 lakh.
In total, Rs 5.6 crore will be spent on building primary schools and Rs 20.88 crore for upper primary school buildings.
Rai said: "Our aim has been to give a major thrust in education in the hills. We have identified those schools which are situated in far-flung areas of the hills. The GTA is holding continuous meeting with the state government on various developmental initiatives."
" Following the meetings with the state government, it has been decided that 99 school buildings will be constructed in the hills. The 56 buildings that are being constructed is part of the first phase of work," Rai added.
The minister informed that the GTA was working in tandem with the state government to ensure that the educational standard is improved in the hills.
"We are committed to improving education in the hills and regain the past glory. We will go our best and will place our progress report before the public for them to judge," he said.
In the last couple of months, the state government and the GTA has regularised jobs of 137 ad-hoc teachers.
In January, Binay Tamang, the GTA chairman of the board of administrator, had handed approval letters to 429 secondary teachers, solving a decade long problem.
The secondary teachers had been given appointment in various hill schools in 2010 by the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council but with the approval only coming from DGHC education secretary and not the district inspector of schools, the teacher's post retirement benefits were in doubt.
However, with the DI giving its approval, after the GTA pursued the issue, the secondary teachers problem have also been solved.