Mumbai: The state cabinet on Saturday approved the proposal to have corporate houses, as well as individual donors and social organisations to adopt government-run schools for a period of five or ten years.
The initiative, announced by School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, is aimed at using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of business establishments to improve school infrastructure and facilities. The government hopes that the donors will bear expenditure on electrical work, stationery and educational articles, digital equipment and health services and sanitary pad vending machines among other necessities.
Addressing plight of government schools
Many of the around 62,000 government schools, catering to around 50 lakh students, have poor infrastructure and a paucity of basic amenities. The lack of facilities has been linked to low enrollment and attendance of students in the school.
Under the programme, the organisations adopting the schools in 'A' and 'B' type municipal corporation regions will have to commit to spending ₹2 crore over five years or ₹3 crore for 10 years. The expected donation for 'C' type municipal corporation schools is ₹1 crore and ₹2 crore, while the remaining schools will get ₹50 lakh and ₹1 crore for five and 10 years, respectively.
Corporate sponsorship and competition
The companies are be incentivised by letting them attach their name to the school's existing name. The government also hopes that healthy competition among corporates and their adopted schools will prove to be beneficial to the state's public education sector.
Opposition and calls for stringent conditions
The decision has received opposition from some educationists, who believe that the government is shirking its responsibility of funding public education. They have asked the government to put stringent conditions in place for corporates to adopt the school in order to prevent exploitation of public resources.