Maharashtra government has received complaints that tribal students are given “secondary treatment” at some private residential schools, an official from the Tribal Development department said.
“There were complaints that some schools are rendering secondary treatment to tribal students like keeping a separate sitting arrangement for them in class rooms, not letting them mix with other students or teaching them in a separate class,” the official said.
Following the complaints, the department has decided to call a joint meeting of residential school directors with Tribal department officials at Vashi in Navi Mumbai next week to address the issue, the official said.
Taking note of the complaints, Tribal development minister Vishnu Savara has instructed the department to call a meeting and make schools aware of government’s intention behind the scheme, the official added.
Confirming of the department receiving complaints, Savara said the government along with school directors will hold a meeting on Monday to hear their side as well.
“But there will be action taken against them if found that tribal children being unnecessarily targetted,” he said.
Tribal children are admitted into private residential schools under ‘Namankit school programme’ (a reputed school admission) scheme, with an aim to tribals students into the mainstream.
As part of the scheme, the government admits 25,000 tribal students every year into such residential schools for which the department has shortlisted 125 schools across the state.
Last year too, the department had received complaints from tribal students but then they were transferred to other schools.
“However, this cannot be allowed every time,” he said.
According to the scheme, the department pays the fees of tribal students as per the categorised residential schools. For instance, A-Grade schools located in hill stations like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Lonawala, Chikhaldara or Panhala are eligible to get Rs 70,000 per student. B-Grade (district or corporation level) and C-Grade (Taluka or council level) schools receive Rs 60,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.