The Government’s ambitious plan to provide quality secondary education through model schools in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode is all set to become operational from academic session 2015-16, said HRD Minister M.M. Pallam Raju.

“…the academic session 2015-16, you will have these schools (operational) because you need time for construction of building,” he told reporters after a meeting with stakeholders and Planning Commission officials here.

However, some stakeholders present at the meeting said that they would try to operationalise the schools from the next academic session itself.

The ministry along with Planning Commission officials finalised the model concessional agreement (MCA) to set up 2,500 model schools under PPP mode across the country.

Commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia informed that the MCA would now be placed before the inter-ministerial committee headed by Secretary Education on July 31 for approval.

After the committee’s approval, government would seek request for proposals (RFPs) to set up model schools in PPP mode in 41 non-educationally backward blocks (NEBB) on a pilot basis.

The government has shortlisted 65 applicants for these 41 blocks on the basis of request for qualifications furnished by the private players.

These 41 blocks are in nine states including Andhra Pradesh (1), Haryana (13), Rajasthan (11), Madhya Pradesh (6), Punjab (3), Uttar Pradesh (2), Karnataka (2), Gujarat (1) and Maharashtra (1).

According to Mr. Ahluwalia, under this PPP arrangement, the private players will invest in land, building and manage the school and state government would help them in acquiring land for schools. He said that these schools would have at least 40 per cent select students from whom no fees would be charged.

The Central government will pay operation cost for teaching these select students at the rate applicable for Central-run school.

According to estimates, the operational cost of teaching a student in a central school was around Rs. 21,000 per year in the financial year of 2011-12. However, the non-select students will have to pay the fee prescribed by these schools.

According to Mr. Raju, after the 41 schools under PPP model are inaugurated, this model would be replicated in 478 blocks.

The government has planned to have 6,000 model schools in the country including 3,500 under public mode and 2,500 under PPP mode.