Schools have been closed for almost 2 years now. Schools have suffered more than any other sector and in it, economically backward students have almost gone without any schooling during the pandemic.
In Maharashtra, all schools have to follow the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which means they have to reserve 25% seats for economically backward students at the entry-level (Standard 1). For these students, it is the government that pays a stipulated fee (in which 60% is paid by the central government and 40% by the state government).
For the last 4-5 years the government had not furnished the sanctioned money to almost 10,000 private schools all over Maharashtra and over that many private schools were also in a bad shape. A few days ago, however, the government released a total amount of Rs 100 crore for private schools all over Maharashtra.
Sanjay Kumar Chavan who heads the Self-finance School Organization (which works closely on this issue) said that before COVID-19 schools used to get an amount of Rs 17,860 per student from the government, but now that has been reduced by 60% which works out to Rs 8000. “There are around 2-3 lakh teachers, other staff dependent on the same. It's difficult to manage the school expenses with this amount provided,” Mr. Chavan said. He added that the government should also help Marathi schools students with free books, uniforms, scholarship schemes, mid-day meals.
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