Coimbatore

No progress yet on RTE Act students’ fee reimbursement

Even as the State Government is exerting a lot of pressure on private schools to make admissions under Right To Education (RTE) Act, it is yet to reimburse any of the 4,500-odd matriculation schools in Tamil Nadu the fees of even a single student admitted under this legislation in the past couple of years.

Sharing of fees

Under the Act, the Central and State Governments must share the fees on a 65:35 ratio and reimburse the private schools in September and January of the same academic year the students were admitted.

While a Government Order (No: 102) was issued on May 16 this year sanctioning Rs. 97.05 crore, Associations representing private schools said that they were yet to see any progress in this regard.

No sign of money

The office-bearer of an association having around 1,500 private schools told The Hindu on Monday that the School Education Department, in June 2014, directed them to immediately open a bank account specifically for RTE Act reimbursements under Principal’s name, rather the Correspondent which was the usually the case.

“We were asked to open accounts post-haste and given just about two to three days time to submit passbook copies to the department. However, while more than a year has now passed, there is no sign of the money,” the office-bearer added.

Private schools, especially the smaller and medium ones, are under severe financial strain as they have not been paid the fees of nearly a quarter of the students for three consecutive years now, another school Head said.

Truckload of data

The schools, however, are submitting details of the students admitted under the RTE Act almost on a monthly basis to the Department.

In fact, a school correspondent remarked that each school would have submitted ‘a truckload of data’ solely on RTE Act admissions in the past couple of years.

Committees

Further, the Department also set up committees in all districts to scrutinise the admissions.

As per the G.O. No: 125, private schools in Tamil Nadu admitted 49,864 during 2013-14 and another 86,729 students in 2014-15.

The amount of reimbursement would be based on the fee levels set for each school by the Justice S.R. Singaravelu-led Private Schools Fee Determination Committee. As per this, private schools have to be reimbursed Rs. 25.14 crore and Rs. 71.91 crore for the past two years.

Despite the private schools submitting details once again after the G.O. was passed to the committees, the Correspondent of a private school said there was no word as of yet on when the reimbursement would start.

District officials would only say that the claims had been forwarded to the Department Head Quarters and that they had no further information.



More than 4,500 schools in Tamil Nadu have been waiting for more than two years

now




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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 1:18:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/no-progress-yet-on-rte-act-students-fee-reimbursement/article7393581.ece

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