Funds released to reimburse Rajasthan schools for RTE admissions

Moratorium imposed during pandemic lifted

November 19, 2021 08:01 pm | Updated 08:06 pm IST - JAIPUR:

The Congress government in Rajasthan has lifted the moratorium on reimbursement of fees to private schools for admission of students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act and approved the release of 25% of the budget withheld earlier for the purpose. Most of the schools in the State were closed after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The State Government’s Finance Department had stopped RTE entitlements for about 50,000 private schools on the grounds of their closure for several months because of which the bills could not be cleared without verifying if online classes were conducted regularly during the pandemic, including the lockdown period.

The dues to be paid to private schools across the State amount to a whopping ₹300 crore. Free admissions are given to the students aged five years to seven years belonging to financially underprivileged families under the RTE Act. Private schools had earlier threatened that they would not give admissions this year unless their dues were cleared.

Official sources said here on Friday that the verification of online teaching and distribution of textbooks during the pandemic would be carried out on a random basis. The process will involve formation of teams at the district level, followed by their training and orientation.

Since the verification process is going to take some time, the Finance Department has approved a proposal to pay 25% of the amount to be reimbursed to the schools for 2020-21. This advance amount will be adjusted against the last payable amount in the current financial year.

School Shiksha Parivar president Anil Sharma, representing the private schools, told The Hindu that the release of even a portion of the dues would provide relief to the schools, which will be able to make fresh RTE admissions for the new academic session. The move would help the poor students in continuing their education, he said.

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