After Mayawati, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that states lacked funds to implement the Right to Education Act and asked the Centre to foot the entire expense.
"The states lack sufficient resources to implement the Right to Education Act, 2009 and it is the responsibility of the Centre to meet cent per cent expenditure on this head without specifying share of the states and Centre," Kumar said.
Kumar's comments comes days after Mayawati expressed inability of the UP government to meet the huge expenses required to implement the RTE Act, under which children in the 6-14 year age bracket will be provided free and compulsory education.
Mayawati had accused the Centre of overlooking practical aspects of implementing the Act by not arranging money for its implementation.
Describing the Act as an "a welcome step", Kumar said initiatives to this effect was made when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power at the Centre.
"We are in the process of implementation of the Act in Bihar, evident from the steep rise in the numbers of school-going children during the past four years," he said.
Kumar has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the Centre bear the burden of implementation of the Act.
Bihar would need 3.30 lakh more teachers and 1.8 lakh additional classrooms to implement the right to education act, 2009, which came into force from April 1.
The recruitment exercise has to be completed within three years to bring the teacher-taught ratio to 1:30, while all teachers have to be trained within five years, State Human Resource department Minister Harinarayan Singh said.
Preliminary estimates by Bihar government suggest that it will require around Rs 28,000 crore to implement the Act, Singh said.