During the presentation of the 2024-25 Budget last Friday, the Minister of Finance announced a sum of Rs 1,000 “per capita” to private colleges. “Although the subject has not been addressed in substance, we welcome this decision to guarantee a minimum of Rs 1,000 'per capita' to private colleges. However, we are awaiting more details on this measure,” reacts Ramdass Ellayah, president of the Federation of Managers of Private Colleges.

It highlights that the conditions of the “new grant formula” jeopardize the financial and administrative viability of private colleges. Thus, details concerning the mechanism which will ensure the “per capita” guaranteed according to the 2024-2025 Budget are awaited.

Ramdass Ellayah recalls that with the advent of free education in 1976, private colleges had a contract with the state, since the state did not have enough places to accommodate all the children in its colleges. “However, since 2016, this agreement no longer exists. This state-private partnership was compromised by the 'new grant formula' and especially the unilateral decisions of the Private Secondary Education Authority,” he explains.

According to him, the “new grant formula” is not unanimous among private colleges. “There is a big gap between the expectations of the federation and the measures promised to reward the undeniable contribution of private secondary education. »

For Ramdass Ellayah, private colleges must be given their management autonomy, while ensuring that students benefit from their educational services in a framework conducive to their integral development. “We need a partnership, where we are treated with dignity, where the heritage that we put at the service of the State, which for us has material as well as sentimental value, is treated to its due extent,” insists he.

SeDEC favorable

For its part, in a press release, the Diocesan Catholic Education Service (SeDEC) said it welcomed this measure. It is indicated that “this decision responds to the financial difficulties encountered in recent years by Catholic colleges due to the previous funding formula”.

The communications officer, Clive Anseline, explains that for three years, the management of SeDEC has reported its financial difficulties following the new “grants” formula which was not viable. “We had reached a point of asphyxiation because the deductions made from our 'grants' were leading us to bankruptcy. We hope that this new proposal will help us continue to provide quality education to our students. We must of course have the details concerning the mechanism which will ensure the 'per capita' guaranteed according to the 2024-25 Budget. »

SeDEC adds that it hopes that “payment will be made in a rigorous but flexible manner, because we must give private colleges their management autonomy, while ensuring that it is our students who benefit from our educational services in a conducive framework. to their integral development.

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