Reimburse us or we will not admit students: schools

The State government will begin receiving applications for admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act from January 10, S.R. Umashankar, Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction (DPI), has said.

Not wanting to repeat the mistakes it made during the ongoing academic year’s admissions, which started at the last minute, the government will begin checking the availability of seats on January 5 with the aim of making RTE implementation reach 100 per cent from the present 50 per cent.

Mr. Umashankar also added that those schools that have already begun admissions in violation of the Education Department’s January deadline had assured the government that they would set aside the required 25 per cent seats for admissions under the RTE Act.

Schools want money

Meanwhile, member schools of the Karnataka State Private School Management’s Federation (KSPSMF) have warned that they will not admit disadvantaged students under the RTE Act’s 25 per cent quota in the next academic year if the government does not reimburse them for admissions made this year.

Angered by the delay in payment of the first instalment of reimbursement to private schools, the federation members are planning to meet Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Thursday to sort out the matter. Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday to announce a State-level educational conference on December 22 on ‘RTE Act: inside–outside’, Sudi Suresh, secretary of the federation, said they had submitted three representations to the government asking for the release of the reimbursement, but to no avail.

“The government has announced that Rs. 50 crore has been allocated for the reimbursement. But not a single penny has reached us. The government is saying that some schools have not submitted their audit reports. We want to know why they cannot reimburse the schools that have submitted the required records,” Mr. Suresh said.

Payments from Friday

When contacted, Mr. Umashankar told The Hindu that private schools would start receiving reimbursements after December 21. Pinning the blame for the delay in payment on schools that have failed to submit their audits, he said those schools that had given the audits would begin receiving payments on their school accounts. The second instalment would be paid in March, he added.

Kageri blames Centre

Mr. Kageri said the Centre had not responded positively despite repeated appeals by the State to help with the reimbursement budget. “But we have made arrangements in our own budget and will start reimbursement.”