Monday, November 29, 1999

New plan to educate poor

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New Delhi, May 17 -- In a major push for inclusive education, the government has decided to allow corporates, non-profit companies and societies to open 2,500 schools across the country. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) model finalised by the Planning Commission in consultation with the private sector this week allows the government to fill 1,000 of the 2,500 seats in each school with children from the deprived sections. The schools envisaged will remain government schools, but run by private management. The scheme will benefit as many as 25 lakh poor children. Half the 1000 seats in each of these PPP schools will be reserved for scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) students, who would be required to pay month as tuition fee of Rs 25. The remaining seats would be filled by children of non income tax payee parents, the panel has decided. They will have to pay a monthly fee of Rs 50. "The Central government will bear the remaining cost of educating these poor students as per the Kendriya Vidyalaya norms," a plan panel official, requesting anonymity, said. It will include free textbooks and two uniforms in a year. The estimated cost per child for the government would Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200, resulting in the government paying over Rs 10,500 crore till 2017 to the private education providers.

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