TN govt schools can make use of Rs 7,000 crore CSR funds, says study
A total of Rs 7,000 crore of corporate social responsibility funds can be utilised to develop the government schools in the state, found a study by UNICEF and the school education department.
CHENNAI: A total of Rs 7,000 crore of corporate social responsibility funds can be utilised to develop the government schools in the state, found a study by UNICEF and the school education department. The study was carried out after the school education department started the Namma School Foundation scheme to encourage private companies to contribute to the development of government schools.
The study, titled ‘Mapping Donor Interventions and Support in the School Education Space in Tamil Nadu,’ attempted to map donor support rendered to school education across the state in the year 2019-20. This will help to strategise the fundraising for the department in the coming years. According to the study, 4,101 schools out of 37,558 reported that they received support during the three years; 6,610 school said they did not get any support while no data was provided by the remaining 26,847 schools.
The 4,101 schools received support worth Rs 116.57 crore across the three financial years with Rs 49.34 crore in 2019-20 being the highest. This decreased to Rs 30.48 crore in 2020-21 due to Covid-19, however, recovered by 15% the next year. Higher secondary schools have received the maximum support (38%) followed by primary schools (28%). The study also showed the support received by the schools is linked to the extent of regional development and industrialisation, resulting in higher donor engagement in northern and western Tamil N, than in southern districts.
As per the data, districts such as Chennai, Thanjavur, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Salem have seen maximum donor support. Corporates and NGOs account for around 70% of the total support provided while physical infrastructure and amenities have been the most dominantly supported theme across all locations.
About 50 to 60% of the top 500 companies which have a presence in the state have CSR funds of Rs 7,000 crore that can be tapped into, the study further pointed out.
“At present, there is an uneven distribution of CSR funds provided to government schools. The Namma School Foundation will make the spending of funds more uniform and help schools develop uniformly with focus on improving the quality of education,” said a school education official.