A.P. on novel education drive

Special Correspondent

Schools estimated to cost Rs. 10 crore each

State to allot 30-50 acres of land free of cost

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Government on Saturday made a strong pitch to industrialists and social organisations to invest in setting up elite schools in rural areas at a cost ranging around Rs. 10 crore each.

Over 200 such rural residential schools offering education in Central syllabus with English as the medium of instruction from Classes VI to XII are proposed by the Government to attract the best talent, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said at an interactive meeting with a large number of interested promoters.

Answering questions, Dr. Reddy said the Government intended to start the schools in June or July next year. It was keen that the teachers were recruited by December and given a six-month training in English before the commencement of the schools.

He said the Government would allot 30 to 50 acres of land free of cost on 99-year lease for each school. The managements were required to spend upto Rs. 12 crore in a phased manner on infrastructure.

The Government would bear 50 per cent of the recurring expenditure while the balance would be collected as fee from 25 per cent of students admitted under management quota.

Dr. Reddy said one school would be sanctioned in every Assembly constituency that had rural pockets. Admissions would be done for class VI through a State-level common entrance test and the children could continue up to class XII under Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or Indian Council of Secondary Education (ICSE) syllabus. SSC and Intermediate education would not be allowed in the schools.

The Chief Minister added that 75 per cent of students would get free education as their fee would be fully reimbursed by Government through scholarships.

He warned that the schools were not meant to be business models and the managements could not expect any returns. Only organisations that realised their social responsibility should come forward. The Government would not consider requests for loans or stand guarantee for them.

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