Schools warned against asking parents of RTE students to pay fees

Department has paid ₹312 crore to private schools towards RTE reimbursement; ₹390 crore is pending

Several private schools who have yet to receive government reimbursements for the previous academic year for students enrolled under the RTE quota have allegedly started asking parents to pay fees for the 2019-20 academic year. After being flooded with complaints from worried parents, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education has sent a stern warning to schools stating that action will be initiated against them.

S.R. Srinivas, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, after a review meeting with department officials on Saturday appealed to parents whose children were admitted under the RTE reservation quota not to pay the fees. “If parents come forward and complain to the department officials, we will ensure that strict action is taken against them,” he said.

Payment pending

According to officials, the department had already paid ₹312 crore to private schools towards RTE reimbursement for the previous academic year. “Another ₹390 crore is pending and will reach school managements shortly,” senior officials have said. They attributed the delay to the fact that many school managements had not filed their claims. Some schools had also made errors in the claims for 2017-2018 academic year, which had to be resolved.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, had appealed to the department to transfer the reimbursements directly to the accounts of parents, and that parents of even children under the RTE quota be made to pay fees. “Managements have resorted to this suggestion as they are finding it difficult to meet the expenses of running the schools,” he said.

Poor backgrounds

His argument, however, was criticised by parents and organisations. B.N. Yogananda, general secretary of RTE Students and Parents’ Association, said it would be impossible for parents whose children have seats under the quota to pay fees as they come from poor economic backgrounds. “They take loans and struggle to even buy notebooks, uniforms and stationery for their children. Paying the tuition fee in advance is not possible. These parents struggle to meet their monthly expenses and schools that are asking them to pay the fees should reverse their decision,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 6:12:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/schools-warned-against-asking-parents-of-rte-students-to-pay-fees/article28231278.ece

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