State govt grants aided status to 4,500 divisions of unaided schools

Teachers in around 500 unaided and permanently-unaided school divisions in Mumbai will now be enjoying financial benefits from the state government on the lines of aided schools. The government has granted "eligible" status to over 4,500 divisions of unaided schools and 5,000 teachers in unaided schools across the state for financial grants.

The state has also sanctioned Rs 93.17 crore towards salary grants for these schools. The financial assistance will be granted for the permanently un-aided private schools and un-aided private schools in the state that fulfilled various criteria and were graded accordingly.

A total of 4,571 school divisions and 5,221 teachers from the unaided private schools and permanently unaided schools will get their funds from the state government hereafter. A GR to this effect will be issued within a month. "The official announcement was made in the Nagpur Assembly session, following which the amount was sanctioned," said a senior official of school education and sports department.

The state had stopped giving permission for aided schools or extra divisions in existing schools in 2001, and announced that all schools and additional divisions allotted thereafter would not get any grant. Around 2,000 secondary and 2,000 primary schools were allowed between 2001 and 2009 primarily on one condition — they were allowed to set up schools only after they signed agreements that they would never approach the state government for aid. However, from 2009, these schools started pressuring the government to bring them on a par with aided schools and sanction salary grants to them.

Given the incessant demand and pressure from a section within the government, the school education department opened a window for providing these schools grants, but with stiff pre-conditions. "These schools were asked to apply for a self-evaluation process to be eligible for aid. However, of the 4,500 school divisions across the state, only 448 were found eligible. The department kept delaying the process. I hope they start the process soon," said Ramnath Mote, an MLC from the teachers constituency.

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