Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that Centre’s lop-sided decision to delink support from the Model School Scheme is a setback to quality education as the move would severely deprive students from the rural areas from their right to quality education.
In a letter sent to the union minister of human resources development Smriti Irani, CM Gogoi said that the Model School Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Human Resources Development in partnership with the State Governments to contribute to the qualitative transformation of education in rural areas.
In sync with the scheme, Assam received approval for construction of 81 Model Schools and the State Government started construction of 48 Model Schools. He stated, ‘With our efforts 14 schools have already started operation by integrating Class I to V and the response to the students and community is overwhelming’.
However, delving a blow to the State Government’s initiative, the Centre delinked its support from the scheme leaving the scheme in the lurch. It may be noted that the operational cost of a model school is around Rs 1.17 crore annually and for maintaining these 81 Model Schools, financial implication thus involved is around 94.77 crore per annum, which becomes difficult for the State Government alone to bear the cost without support from the Centre.
Chief Minister, Gogoi further said that such decision of the Centre is a setback to develop the Model Schools into Centres of Excellence and deprive the rural students from quality education. He however, reiterated that the State Government is committed to run the schools thereby enabling thousands of rural students of their right to quality education.