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Haryana’s Cheerag scheme for EWS students

  • Published
    4th Aug, 2022
Context

Cheerag scheme was recently launched to offer “free education” to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students of government schools in “budget” private schools.

About

Haryana’s Cheerag scheme:

  • Haryana government recently launched the “Chief Minister Equal Education Relief, Assistance and Grant (Cheerag)” scheme.
  • It was introduced in place of a similar scheme launched by Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s government in 2007 under Rule 134 A of the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003.
  • Under the Cheerag scheme, government school students whose parents have an annual verified income of less than Rs 1.8 lakh can enroll in private schools from Class II to XII.
  • The government will reimburse Rs 700 per student from Classes II to V, Rs 900 per student from Classes VI to VIII, and Rs 1,100 per student from Classes IX to XII.

Response to the Cheerag scheme:

  • As many as 533 “budget” private schools – mostly in villages and small towns — applied to offer seats to EWS students under the Cheerag scheme. 
    • Only 381 schools found eligible due to different technical reasons.
  • A total of 24,987 seats for EWS students from government schools were offered.
    • However, only 1,665 students have preferred to opt for the scheme, which is just 6.66 per cent of the total offered seats.

Concerns over Haryana’s Cheerag scheme:

  • The union leaders have apprehensions that the scheme may be aimed at encouraging private schools at the cost of government schools.
  • As per our information, there are nearly 85,000 teachers, including guest teachers, in government schools, while nearly 50,000 posts are lying vacant.”
  • The government should strengthen infrastructure at government schools and fill the vacant posts of teachers.
  • It has been claimed that as many as 90 per cent of the students of government schools fall under the Cheerag scheme which is meant for those with parents who have an annual income of Rs 1.8 lakh.
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