Rajasthan govt’s move to privatise school education draws flak
As per the policy, 75% schools in rural areas and 25% schools in urban areas will be identified on the basis of their recent results and will be given to private players who have to pay Rs 75 lakh for operating each school.Updated: Sep 08, 2017 15:14 IST
The Rajasthan government will privatise state-run schools, beginning with 300 next academic session, under its new education scheme, a move that has drawn flak from educationist and the opposition who allege it would risk the future of students.
The Vasindhara Raje cabinet, earlier this week, cleared the policy for “Public Private Partnership in School Education 2017” under which the management of state-run secondary and higher secondary schools would be done through Public-Private partnership (PPP) in a phased manner.
“In the first phase, 300 schools with poor results would be operated on PPP mode from the coming academic session to improve quality of education,” said, Vasudev Devnani, state education minister.
As per the policy, 75% schools in rural areas and 25% schools in urban areas will be identified on the basis of their recent results and will be given to private players who have to pay Rs 75 Lakh for operating each school. The state government will reimburse the amount over a seven- year period time at Rs 16 lakh per annum. Another Rs 20,000 would be reimbursed to the private parties as expenses per student.
State Congress president Sachin Pilot said the move was against the interest of students.
“The BJP government earlier gave primary health centres in private hands and now it plans to privatise schools. Providing education and health care is the responsibility of the government, not the private players,” he told HT.
The 65,000 government schools of Rajasthan comprise 13000 secondary and higher secondary schools. Around 3 lakh government teachers are posted in these schools. The Raje government claims that it has improved the quality of education and increased enrolment in government schools by 17 lakh in the last 3 years.
But, even party’s MLA, Gyandeo Ahuja questioned the “rationale behind the move considering the improvement”. The pass percentage of class 10 students in 2017 was 78.96 % as against 75.89 % in 2016.
The Teachers’ Union opposed the move calling it “commercialisation of education”.
“It will deny education to the underprivileged students,” said, Krishan Agarwal of the All Rajasthan School Teachers’ Union.
The private players will have to provide teachers and other staff and continue facilities like mid-day meals and free text books for students, an official said. The government teachers will be adjusted in other government schools.
“The state government will float tenders in a month’s time to select the private players,” The private players will be reviewed after seven years.