The govt should pay the cost of education from tax revenues, rather than taxing the parents of children going to private schools.
The Right to Education Bill has now been passed by parliament. One important provision of the bill requires that all private schools will have to provide 25 per cent reservation to poor students in admission. The government will compensate the schools for this quota of admission. What are the possible implications of this government-funded reservation initiative in private schools?
In principle, this is a laudable initiative since the poor students will have access to better quality education in private schools (which they can not afford otherwise) than is available in most government schools. Education is often the only means available for the children of poor families to break away from the poverty trap.
The government will compensate the private schools at the rates charged by government schools which are much lower. That means cross subsidisation of poor students by the remaining 75 per cent students who will have to pay higher fees to cover the shortfall. It is like imposing an additional education cess on them, on top of the education cess that they are currently paying as income tax payers.
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