Pointing out that States lacked “sufficient” resources to implement the Right to Education Act, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asked the Centre to meet the cent per cent expenditure.
“The States lack sufficient resources to implement the Right to Education Act, 2009 and it is the responsibility of the Centre to meet cent per cent expenditure on this head without specifying share of the States and Centre,” Mr. Nitish Kumar said.
He said the Act was “a welcome step” and initiatives to this effect were made when the NDA was in power at the Centre.
“We are in the process of implementation of the Act in Bihar. There has been a steep rise in the numbers of school-going children in the past four years,” he said.
Bihar would need 3.30 lakh more teachers and 1.8 lakh additional classrooms to implement the Act, which came into force from April 1 all over the country.
The recruitment exercise has to be completed within three years to bring the teacher-student ratio to 1:30, while all teachers have to be trained within five years, State Human Resource department Minister Harinarayan Singh said.
Preliminary estimates by the State government suggest that it will require around Rs. 28,000 crore to implement the Act, Mr. Singh said.
Other estimates put the State’s likely expenditure at around Rs. 26,000 crore and the Centre has to decide on the quantum of financial assistance to States and it is this that will decide how effectively the Act is implemented, Mr. Singh said.
The Chief Minister had already written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the Centre bear the burden on implementation of the Act, he said.
“It will be difficult for Bihar to implement it in the true spirit unless the Centre takes the bulk of the financial load,” said HRD principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh.