Poll-wary Rajasthan government shelves PPP mode for state-run schools
After their dismal performance in the bypolls and facing opposition from villagers and teachers’ associations, the BJP government has put its plan to give 300 government schools on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode on holdjaipur Updated: Feb 08, 2018 21:39 IST
After their dismal performance in the bypolls and facing opposition from villagers and teachers’ associations, the BJP government has put its plan to give 300 government schools on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode on hold.
To save face, the government has formed a committee, headed by home minister Gulab Chand Kataria, to study the matter. Other members of the committee are minister for rural development and panchayati raj Rajendra Rathore and school education minister Vasudev Devnani.
A notification issued by the education department on February 7, said that in view of the objections and suggestions received from various organisations with regard to the Public Private Partnership policy 2017, the committee is being formed to look into the matter and give recommendations. Till the government takes a decision, the PPP policy 2017 is being put in abeyance, the order stated.
The Public Private Partnership in School Education was notified on September 12, 2017. The government had identified 300 schools to be given on a pilot basis to private partners through a competitive bidding process. Private parties would have to pay Rs75 lakh for management and operations cost and would be free to appoint teaching and non-teaching staff. Government teachers would be adjusted in other government schools.
The public mood is against the PPP policy and after the loss in the bypolls, the government is not willing to take a risk and go ahead with the decision, especially as it faces assembly elections later this year.
In September last year, the government had issued a notification that 300 schools across the state would be given on PPP mode to private partners. Since then there were protests launched by villagers and school teachers’ associations in the state.
HT had reported about agitations in various schools with villagers sitting on dharna outside schools to oppose the decision. They questioned the government’s decision to abandon its responsibility to provide education and hand over its land and resources to private parties. Teachers and villagers said private players would hike school fees and deny education to the poor. They also objected to good government schools being selected to be given on PPP mode.
School education minister Vasudev Devnani had clarified that no good government schools were being given and students would continue to get facilities like free uniforms, textbooks and mid-day meals. “We are trying this on a pilot basis. The private partner will be given charge of management for 10 years to improve education,” he had said.