Government-recognised, private aided schools across the state can heave a sigh of relief as the state has decided to revive the non-salary grants scheme. The state on Saturday issued a government resolution (GR) stating that Rs 266 crore would be released towards non-salary grants from April 1, 2013.
Several schools and organisations representing these schools have been protesting since the state government stopped their non-salary grants in 2004. They had claimed that in the absence of non-salary grants, they have to struggle to even buy chalks, dusters and so on. Following a Cabinet decision in November last year, the government decided to release non-salary grants for private aided schools from the next academic year. (2013-14)
The fund that is pending since 2004-05 was given to the schools by the state government for expenses, other than salaries, such as repair and maintenance costs, purchase of educational aids and other utility payments. The fund of Rs 266 crore that will be released by the state government will be given to 23,000 aided primary and secondary schools across the state from April 1 onwards. The non-salary grant will be given to each school at the rate of five per cent of the salary grant received by the school - four per cent non-salary grant and one per cent for repair and maintenance of infrastructure.
Till 2004, every aided school, whether primary, upper primary or secondary, used to get a non-salary grant, calculated at 12 per cent of the salary grant. School Education Minister Rajendra Darda said, “The government stopped giving non-salary grants to schools after 2004. In 2008, the government formed a Cabinet sub-committee to consider the matter.
The sub-committee reported that five per cent of salary grant should be given to schools. The file kept moving and by that time, ministers changed. I had been pushing it for the past six months. The government agreed to give a five per cent of non-salary grant to schools. For example, if the salary grant of a school is Rs 1 crore then a non-salary grant of Rs 5 lakh will be given.”
Schools and teachers’ organisations in the city have welcomed the move. Managements of aided schools said the grant would come as a relief as they have been struggling to pay for maintenance and had to hike fees to bear these expenses.
“It is a victory of the school managements, teachers and even parents of students studying in these schools,” said a teacher at Swami Muktananda School, Chembur.