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Central govt may pay for 25% for poor in private schools

HRD ministry to seek funds from the planning commission, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Jan 14, 2012 21:46 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

The state governments may not have to worry about paying for implementing 25% reservation for children from economically weaker sections anymore. The HRD ministry is willing to foot the bill provided its proposal is accepted.

In a move to strengthen 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 seats for poor students.

Some state governments had been reluctant to implement the quota citing financial constraints as already their education budget had witnessed an increase because of expansion of school education. Over a million new schools were opened in the last decade under the government’s flagship programme Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

However, some states such as Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal had started reimbursing private schools the expense for providing education free of cost to the poor students. In absence of the commitment to reimburse the quota was not being implemented in all private schools.

As per the watershed RTE law, the state governments have to reimburse to a private school is equal to the expense of educating a child in a government school. It is about Rs 1,200 per month in Delhi.

The HRD ministry has proposed to pay the state governments for implementing inclusive education under RTE while deciding the annual Sarva Siksha Abhiyan plan for each state. The proposal is part of the schemes for the 12th five year plan starting from April 2012.

According to officials, it is one of the new schemes finance minister Pranab Mukherjee may announce in his budget speech in March. And, it would be part of UPA government's enhanced focus on health and education in the 12th plan.

To further strengthen RTE implement and improve quality in the 12th plan, the HRD ministry wants funds to have libraries and laboratories in the upper primary level. This will help in improving learning level and scientific temper among children studying in government schools, a planning commission report on 12th plan says.

This is in addition to steps taken by the state governments to improve quality of teachers in schools. Bihar, which was supposed to have worst quality teachers, had tied up with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Nalanda University to train the teachers. Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have got its teacher training programmes approved from the National Council for Teachers' Education (NCTE).

First Published: Jan 14, 2012 21:44 IST