All aided schools to get buses within three years
A new scheme has been devised for the allotment of free school buses to government-aided schools to streamline the process, in keeping with chief minister and education minister Manohar Parrikar's assurance in his 2012 budget speech. The state now aims to cover all aided schools under the scheme in a phased manner within three years.
The scheme has divided high schools into four categories, according to which there are 72 institutions that fit into the 'A' category where the schools are operating a minimum of 12 divisions for the last three years. Seventy-seven schools have been found fitting into the 'B' category with at least six operational divisions. Similarly, 62 and 91 schools were found to be fitting into categories 'C' and 'D', respectively.
The scheme rules dictate that schools in each category automatically become eligible for a fixed number of buses, which will be allotted to them in a phased manner in time by the directorate of education (DoE). While category 'A' schools will be eligible to get three buses, category 'B' schools will qualify to receive two buses. Schools in category 'C' and 'D' will be eligible to get one bus.
"Each school will be eligible for a new bus after the completion of seven years of the old bus in operation, but on the condition that the old bus is returned in a working condition to the state," the scheme reads.
"The schools will be provided 3 lakh per year to bear the day-to-day expenditure on the buses. In addition, schools will also have to produce documents to indicate that the school management has a minimum 1 lakh in its bank account to bear the costs of running the bus if there is any delay on the part of the state in releasing the payment to cover the recurring costs of operating the bus," a state education official said.
The institutions will have to maintain a separate statement of accounts of the expenditure made on the bus service and will have to produce the statement to be eligible for maintenance grants for the next academic year.
"The schools will be able to run the bus only after insuring the bus through the education department," a source said.
Schools which have already received buses as per the old Bal Rath scheme will be eligible for grants as per the new scheme's pattern from the next academic year and will receive 30,000 per month to cover the recurring expenses of the bus till then. [TOI]