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Model schools to give free education to poor

New Delhi,Sep 11() : Model schools numbering 6000 would be set up by the government.

2500 schools would be under the public-private partnership mode. Financially weak students who study in these schools would get Government assistance. Around 65 private companies like Zee Learn Ltd, ITC Ltd, Jindal Education & Welfare Society and Educomp Solutions have already signed on.

The first school will function in 2015. Apart from 2500 model schools under PPP pattern, the rest will be funded by the Union Government. The first roll-out will be 41 model schools. From class VI onwards, education is free and private companies will reserve 40% for financially weak students and in turn, they will set up in areas which the HRD ministry term as a non-educationally backward area. The minimum student strength has to be 1000 and from class VI, the maximum can be 2500.

The government will fund Rs 2500 for a student. Private companies would fund to buy land and building and is free to set up fees for students. For 10 years, the Government will partially fund the capital expenses and every year, there will be a 5% increase.

The schools will have a CBSE syllabus. These schools will help in providing quality education to poor students at Government expense. The schools will also start teacher training institutes as these are very vital to get quality teaching.

With Government funding, the private companies who are compensated for teaching poor students are given permission to run a second shift to accommodate poor students. The initial idea is to start 41 schools across nine States.

A meeting with private companies and the HRD ministry took place and areas where the first 41 schools to be started were finalized. The Government is expected to shell out Rs 1.2 crore a year to fund the education of poor students. The scheme was drawn up three years back by PM Dr Singh and now it has taken shape.

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