Association says it will not take in students under 25% quota until they are reimbursed

The Tamil Nadu nursery, primary, matriculation and higher secondary schools association on Monday announced that their schools would not admit students under the 25 per cent quota mandated by the Right to Education Act, 2009 until the school education department committed on a time-frame for reimbursement of fee for admissions made in the last two years.

Starting May 3, schools in the State were supposed to start issuing admission forms for seats under the quota. K.R. Nandakumar, secretary of the association, said that they have been providing admissions for the past two years and had opened bank accounts as instructed, but were yet to receive the amount. He added that matriculation schools are also grappling with issues such as students migrating to CBSE schools because of Tamil being a compulsory language in many classes. The Association claims to have around 10,000 schools as members.

As per the Act, the government has to reimburse the schools for the admissions made. In Tamil Nadu, the amount to be reimbursed is either the fee fixed by the government-appointed private fee determination committee for the school or the amount spent by the government per child, whichever is lesser.

A school education department official said that schools would get the amount in 3-4 months and that they should not refrain from issuing admissions forms. An official said that last week, matriculation schools were asked to follow the government schedule on RTE admissions so that all seats could be filled this year.

Activist A. Narayanan said that the 25 per cent seats must be non-negotiable and should not be opened up for the general category. “In the survey conducted last month by volunteers from Becoming I Foundation, they found that close to 30 schools had the admission forms ready. Not conducting admissions is not the way forward. The department should have also been proactive,” he said.

According to a department official close 50,000 students were admitted in the State under the 25 per cent quota in 2013-14.

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