State governments may not have to worry about spending for implementing the 25 % reservation for children hailing from economically weaker sections (EWS) anymore.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry is willing to foot the bill provided its proposal is accepted.
In a move to strengthen the implementation of Right To Education (RTE) Act in the next five years, the HRD ministry has agreed to provide funds to the state governments to ensure that private schools reserve 25% of the total seats for poor students.
Some state governments had been reluctant to implement the quota citing financial constraints as their education budget had witnessed an increase owing to expansion of school education. Over a million new schools were opened in the last decade under the government's flagship programme Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.
Some states such as Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal had started reimbursing private schools the expenses in a bid to help them provide free education to poor students. But, since these states didn't get any fund from the Centre, they could not implement the system.
As per the RTE law, the state governments have to reimburse an amount of money equal to what a governement school gets for educating a child. In Delhi, it comes around Rs 1,200 a month per child.
The HRD ministry has proposed to give funds to state governments for implementing inclusive education under the RTE Act, while deciding on the annual Sarva Siksha Abhiyan plan. According to officials, it is one of the new schemes the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, may announce in his budget speech in March.