Agartala (Tripura) [India], December 8 (ANI): Tripura Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath on Tuesday said that the state government has framed a policy to invite prestigious institutions of the country to take over schools that have very low enrollment located in the rural areas of the state.
The state cabinet had approved the decision in the month of late October and as of now no private institution which can fill up all the criteria set by the government showed interest to come over here.
Addressing the press conference at the Civil Secretariat Conference Hall, Nath said, "A section of people is trying to malign the image of the state's education department by spreading false news. They are trying to show the Tripura government in a bad light by branding this policy as an attempt to privatize all government schools".
Issuing a clarification, he said, "the state government has framed the policy to invite prestigious educational groups to come over here and take charge of the schools that have very little enrollment. The infrastructure, land and other things raised by the government will be handed over to them on a lease agreement of 30 years".
He further shared the present strength of schools and said, "in Tripura, there are 4,200 schools in total out of which Tripura government directly controls 2,600 schools and 1,630 schools come under the jurisdiction of TTAADC."
"In the state-run schools, there are three schools that have no students, one school is there with two students, and three schools have three students each. In TTAADC, there are four schools that have two students each. And, the condition of these schools is like this for a long period. We want that the infrastructure of these schools can be utilized properly encouraging private partnership. But, some people are trying to misinterpret the policy", Nath clarified.
He said the government's sole motive is to improve the quality of education imparted in the state's schools.
"We want to improve the learning level of students, create centres of educational excellence in rural areas, foster innovation of learning pedagogy, introduce art activity learning and create centres of sports excellence by bringing institutions that have earned a good name in the education sector", said Nath.
Explaining the eligibility criteria set by the department, he said that the groups which are eligible for setting up their schools in the state should either have two existent higher secondary level schools with a total students strength of 1,500 or one school with a student strength of 1,000.
Apart from that, the School Education Quality Index will also act as a yardstick for getting approval.
"After the primary approval from the education department, the state investment facilitation committee will evaluate the petition if received and then once again the state cabinet has to take the final call. Moreover, all such institutions have to mandatorily grant 25 per cent reservation for the children coming from the Economically Backward Section," the State Education Minister said.
"If any institution agrees to all these pre-conditions then only they can get approval to open schools here", Nath added.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared 100 state government-run schools under the Vidyajyoti scheme which are going to be centres of excellence. (ANI)