Tripura government will bear expenses of 3,000 students from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families if they want to study in private schools from next academic year, Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said on Saturday.
Nath said children from BPL families earlier could not afford to study in private English medium schools due to high fees, so the state government has decided to bear expenses of 3,000 such students for studying in private schools. "It is clearly stated in Right to Education Act, 2009 that schools have to admit 25 per cent of total students from local poor families at the entry point. Their fees are also specified in the Act. Our government will pay for all expenses of their study in private schools of their choice, Nath told reporters.
Right to Education was passed in 2009 but was implemented in Tripura only in 2011 after the state rules were formulated. Surprisingly, no private school in the state placed demands for reimbursement of fees for poor students admitted till 2019, which indicates no such student was admitted in these schools, the minister said.
"Authorities of 10 renowned private schools in Agartala informed us that no students from BPL category were admitted. As per statistics, 24,000 students have lost their chance to study in private English schools with government support in the Left Front regime, Nath said. Tripura currently has 4,398 government and government-aided schools. The state has 335 private schools.