Quota for poor in pvt schools: State asks Centre to share bill
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Less than a year before the deadline expires for the implementation of 25 per cent reservation rule for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in private schools across the state, there seem to ambiguity over who will bear the cost of the project to be implemented under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
The estimated financial burden for the state education department in terms of reimbursement to private schools against 25 per cent reservation (to be implemented from 2013-14) has been calculated to be more than Rs 100 crore.
While, on one hand, in recent communications, the department has asked the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to share 35 per cent of this financial burden. On the other hand, as per the department's estimates, the monthly reimbursement that will be made to private schools against 25 per cent reserved seats comes out to be somewhere between Rs 670-1,000 per child, depending upon the area in which the private school is located.
However, if the per child expenses, what the school is actually incurring, is less than this estimated amount, the lower amount will be reimbursed by the state education department.
"As per the estimates, per child expenditure incurred in government schools is estimated to be Rs 8,000-12,000 per annum. This varies as it depends upon the area of the school and kind of services that are offered to the students as it also includes mid-day meal, free textbooks and uniform and even transportation in some areas," said Manoj Aggarwal, state project director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
At present, in addition to the ambiguity over reimbursement and sharing of this financial burden, there is confusion over entitlements as well, he added. Confirming to the requests made to the Centre over sharing of this financial burden, he said, "What has been suggested to the MHRD is sharing of this additional Rs 100 crore burden to be incurred by the state for implementation of 25 per cent EWS reservation in similar ratio of the annual education budget i.e. 65:35 ratio. As of now there has been no response from the Centre."
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