Maharashtra: State-run schools and colleges to take private route due to financial crunch

Mumbai: State-run schools are shifting towards privatisation adopting international and private boards due to lack of financial aid from the state government. Colleges are now shifting towards being autonomous institutions which will help them raise funds and function according to the private managements instead of depending on the state.

Large number of state-run schools are planning to eliminate the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board and adopt private boards like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or even international boards like International Baccalaureate (IB) or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Schools believe through this shift they will not have to depend on government aid which they have not received since the last two years.

As these are government-aided schools or private-aided they receive grants from the government for daily functioning. But complete privatisation or shift to a private board will allow the schools to be self-funded or function as self-financed schools. A principal of a school at South Mumbai, said, “If we adopt a private board and go for complete privatisation we will be able to raise funds through fees. It is not that we want to give up SSC board but then going private seems like the only option we have to tackle this financial crisis.”

Schools revealed fees in state-run schools is insufficient to cover up expenses of the school like maintenance of infrastructure, pay bills, salaries of teachers and other non-teaching staff. “We cannot cover up all the expenses through fees as the fees is less. And secondly, we cannot raise the fees as per the Fee Regulation Act (FRA). In private schools, the fees are high and students can avail of better facilities.”

Colleges complained the state has stopped granting financial aid due to financial crisis. A principal of a college said, “Is the government telling us that the state does not have money for education? Or is education no longer an important field for the state?”

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