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500 schools under PPP mode set to come up

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), School Choice, School Management Committee

In a move to provide “high quality” education to children at the block level, the Centre has initiated efforts to set up 500 model schools in public-private-partnership framework across the country.

The schools, proposed to be opened under the Human Resource Development Ministry, will operate Classes VI to XII with minimum infrastructure and facilities of standards available in existing Kendriya Vidyalayas.

The ministry has invited applications from private entities including corporate houses to participate in the implementation of the programme. Selection of private partner will be done through bidding at each block to be identified for the opening of the schools.

As per the scheme, the schools will be affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).  In exceptional circumstances, affiliation by other national boards may also be considered.

However, irrespective of whatever board the school is affiliated to, it will have to adhere to all the norms of the CBSE with reference to infrastructure, teaching resources and pedagogy, an HRD Ministry official told Deccan Herald adding. The model schools were so far being opened through the state governments in the blocks, identified as educationally backward under the central scheme, launched in 2008. While the opening up of schools in 1,942 blocks covering 22 states have been approved since 2008, only 438 model schools have become functional, according to the ministry.

A total of 6,000 model schools are to be opened at block level with 3,500 in educationally backward district through state governments. The remaining 2,500 schools are to be set up under PPP mode in blocks which are not educationally backward.

As per the scheme, the private entity could either be a trust or a society or a not-for-profit company.

An entity running at least one CBSE school from where at least two consecutive batches have passed out from Class X will qualify for up to three schools. Those who have not come up to the board examination level will qualify for one school.

A private entity, a track record of running educational institutions for five years, will also qualify for opening three schools if it has capacity to make an interest-bearing deposit of Rs 25 lakh for each school, which will be released in three annual installments after commissioning.

“A corporate entity would be eligible for one school for every 25 crore net worth, subject to interest-bearing deposit of Rs 50 lakh each of up to three schools and Rs 25 lakh per school thereafter,” the ministry official said.

The land required for setting up the school and its infrastructure has to be provided by the private entity.

The government will contribute to recurring cost on per capita basis for the students sponsored by it. Besides, additional 25 per cent support will also be provided in respect of sponsored students towards capital cost.

“The initial period of the contract for such provision of quality education would be 10 years for each school, which is extendable as per mutual agreement,” a ministry official said.

Deccan Herald, 10 March 2012

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