The state government has received overwhelming response from private players even as it has approved the setting up of self-financed schools in the state just eight months ago. However, in doing so, the state is subtly privatising school education in the state, claim educationists.
An official from education department said, “2,417 proposals that we approved from the 7,108 that we received for the year 2013-14 have already started. The fate of 4,691 proposals that were sent back for certain queries will be known in the coming week. Among the proposals, over 50% are for English medium schools followed by Marathi medium, two schools of Urdu, Kanada and Sindhi.” The attendance in zilla parishad and civic body-run schools are decreasing with parents preferring private schools.
Educationist Meena Chandawarkar said, “The very movement of privatisation of elementary education began in 1984-85 when some of our ministers felt that why should we not implement the Manipal pattern of accepting donations.The hidden aim behind it is to keep children belonging to certain class away from education so that the country gets the labour force,”
Former chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and educationist Vasant Kalpande said, “Self-financed schools will help in increasing the void between poor and rich children. The government should have focused more on improving the quality of education of government run schools.”
Director of education Mahavir Mane said, “The self-finance school does not get any financial help from the government. However, we will keep a tab on their quality and ensure that no child is deprived of education.”
Former education officer at ZP Sunil Kurhade said, “Decreasing attendance in ZP or government schools every year is because of various factors, including reduction in birth rate, migration of parents, but parents do prefer private schools.”
He said nearly 10,000 students were less for the year 2012-13 in ZP schools in Pune district. The figure was 2,46,000 students last year.
According to the Act...
Maharashtra Self-financed Schools (Establishment and Regulation) Act is to make provisions to establish a new school including provision for the upgradation of existing schools on self-financed basis, to make suitable provisions with regard to requirement and norms for establishing such new school or up-gradation of existing school, for creating an endowment fund and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.