Tamil Nadu

‘Reimburse only 75% of fees to schools for RTE admissions’

The Tamil Nadu Government has directed the Director of Matriculation Schools to reimburse only 75% of fees for the 2020-2021 academic year to schools which have admitted children under the RTE Act.

A Government Order issued to this effect by School Education Secretary Kakarla Usha said that the government had sanctioned ₹419.52 crore for the 2020-21 academic year towards the reimbursement of fees for non-minority, self-financing schools which have admitted children under the RTE Act. The Right To Education Act states that 25% of seats at the entry level should be kept for the admission of children belonging to disadvantaged groups and weaker sections.

Through the 2020-21 academic year, schools had remained shut except for a few months in early 2021 when schools were reopened for senior classes.

In a letter to the Director of Matriculation Schools, the Deputy Accountant General referenced a 2020 order of the Madras High Court which observed that due to a complete lockdown during 2020-21, the management of private schools must have saved overheads and recurring cost on various items like electricity, maintenance, water and stationary. The Court had then directed private schools to collect only 75% of the annual school fees fixed for the 2020-21 academic year from the students.

“Since the students admitted under the RTE Act also experienced the same situation due to closure of schools during 2020-21, it would be logical to apply the above order of the Hon'ble High Court and reimburse 75% of the annual school fees in respect of the RTE Act students to the private schools concerned for the academic year 2020-2021,” the Deputy Accountant General had said, in his letter.

"However, it was noticed during an audit of the office of the District Educational Officer (DEO), Sendurai, Ariyalur district that the DEO has recommended for a full reimbursement of annual school fees to private schools for the RTE Act students for the academic year 2020-2021 without restricting the fees to 75% in line with the order of the High Court. The action of the DEO was objected to and an Audit Para has been included in the Inspection Report,” the letter said.

A request was subsequently placed to the Director of Matriculation Schools to send a proposal to the State Government asking for a G.O. to be issued on the 75% reimbursement of RTE fees, to save a huge amount of government money. The DMS had then submitted a proposal to the State Government following which the G.O. for the same has been issued.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 6:03:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/reimburse-only-75-of-fees-to-schools-for-rte-admissions/article37762565.ece

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