More than half of RTE Act funds returned

The expenditure incurred by the Department of Public Instruction in Hassan district in reimbursing school fees to those admitted through Right to Education Act has exposed the inconveniences to staff and students in private schools.

More than half of the amount sanctioned by the government to the district has been returned as schools have failed to claim it fully. In other words, they failed to claim the maximum amount by providing necessary documents about salaries to teachers, facilities for children and other expenditure for providing quality education.

The State government had released Rs. 62.85 lakh to provide education to RTE students in the district. Of that amount, the district spent only Rs. 30.88 lakh and the balance had been returned, according to Deputy Director of Public Instruction G.R. Basavaraj.

He said that the schools were asked to submit audit reports of expenditure they incurred in a year under RTE ACt.

The expenditure is incurred under salaries to teachers, building rent, electricity and water charges, furniture, payment to non-teaching staff, among other things.

The expenditure incurred in a year is divided by the number of students in a school to fix the reimbursement amount. “Salaries should be made through bank accounts. All records related to expenditure should be audited. Based on the records they have submitted, we have reimbursed fees,” Mr. Basavaraj said.

A few schools received Rs. 27 reimbursement per student. “It is possible as many schools have not submitted proper audit reports. Interestingly, a few schools have not claimed reimbursement as they don’t want to take the trouble of submitting all authentic and audit reports of expenditure,” he said.

If a school has received Rs. 27 reimbursement per student, there are only two possibilities — the school is actually spending only Rs. 27 towards each student in a year, though accepting fee in thousands, or the management has not been able to provide audit reports of expenses, he said.

The DDPI has recommended disciplinary action against Christ CMI Public School in Hassan for refusing to admit students for the academic year 2013-14 under the RTE Act.

Mr. Basavaraj said that the school refused to admit students under RTE Act citing that it was a minorities institution.

However, the school management failed to provide any document to prove that it was indeed such an institution.

“I have recommended the Commissioner of Public Instruction for action against the school,” he said.

Two schools — Christ CMI Public School and United Academy School — had refused to admit students under RTE Act in the academic year 2012-13, he said.

“The Deputy Director of Public Instruction should have, on that occasion, recommended action against those schools. I don’t know why he had not made any such recommendation.

“Of the two, United Academy School has agreed to admit students this year. However, Christ CMI Public School has rejected the suggestion. I have recommended action against this school,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 12:08:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/more-than-half-of-rte-act-funds-returned/article4562312.ece

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