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Punjab to take pvt sector help for school infrastructure

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

The Punjab government has decided to involve corporate houses, industrial houses, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and non-resident Indians (NRI) in the improvement of infrastructure in state government schools.

The decision was taken by the cabinet at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The meeting on Thursday approved comprehensive guidelines or instructions for investment of Corporate Social Responsibility Funds (CSR) or charity funds in the government schools of Punjab, to make them active partners in the development of the state.

According to an official spokesperson, the policy has been framed to enable these entities to participate in improving the quality of infrastructure of government schools in the state of Punjab in general, and in providing top quality free education to students of these schools.

For this purpose, an institutional mechanism would be set up and School Development Committees would be constituted for each school. The committee would consist of all members of School Management Committees as per provision of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2003, in addition to two members of corporate houses, industrial houses, NGOs, NRIs investing or donating in the schools.

The Committee has been mandated to monitor the working of schools, preparing and recommending development plans, and monitoring the utilisation of grants received from corporate houses, industrial houses, NGOs and NRIs as CSR fund or charity.

As per the guidelines, these organisations can participate in construction of buildings, rooms, toilets and libraries in the schools. They can also contribute for purchase of books for school library, IT equipment for smart classrooms, computers, tablets or any other IT infrastructure with pre-loaded and latest software.

Donors can also contribute approved e-content or study material, along with sports equipment, material or maintenance of playgrounds in the schools. They can also contribute towards furniture, uniforms, books, other study material, stationary, science laboratory equipment, teaching learning material, water purifier, ROs, water coolers and other facility or item.

The Department of School Education will host details of schools requiring infrastructure on the website and corporate houses may choose to invest in single or multiple schools.

The policy clarifies that no commercial activity by the donors will be allowed inside the school and deployment or supervision and control of teachers in the school would be the sole responsibility of School Education Department.