New Delhi: The cabinet committee on economic affairs on Thursday approved Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposal of setting up 6,000 model schools aimed at stemming school dropouts.

Educative approach: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Vijay Kumar Joshi / PTI

The government said it would implement the scheme from the current fiscal year in all states barring the six going to polls.

The model schools, announced by Singh on Independence Day last year, will be set up along the lines of the Kendriya Vidyalayas (central schools), a demand made in December last year by human resource development minister Arjun Singh.

The minister had proposed 1,000 schools to be set up along the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas and 700 to be Navodaya Vidyalayas, a chain of centrally-sponsored schools aiming to cover all districts in the country.

The proposal was opposed by the Planning Commission, a statutory body that helps the government allocate money for its programmes. The panel viewed it as being against the spirit of inclusion.

However, the 2,500 model schools to be set up in the first phase of implementation in educationally backward blocks, or sub-districts, “will have infrastructure and facilities, at least of the standard as in a Kendriya Vidyalaya,’’ said a HRD ministry official. The remaining schools will be set up in partnership with the private sector.

Under the scheme, state governments will set up the schools with assistance from the Centre. An estimated Rs9,321 crore will be spent on the scheme till March 2012, of which the Union government will fund Rs7,457 crore.