Pune: While the government extended the deadline for schools to register under Right to Free and Compulsory (RTE) Act, 2015, sources from the Education Department of Pune Zila Parishad said part of the funds will soon be distributed to private schools for reimbursement.
However, the private schools associations said they won't trust the government and continue their boycott until the government gives an affidavit stating when the whole amount will be reimbursed.
Rajendra Singh of Independent English Schools Association (IESA) said, “The government has been fooling us like this for years. Every year, they release around Rs 2 lakh out of the 50 lakh that is due and say they have given us the reimbursement. This time, if they want us to believe them, they need to declare the exact number of admissions that have taken place since RTE Act was implemented and the amount of fees due for reimbursement. We want them to send us an affidavit stating when they would reimburse the dues. This year, even the parents' associations are with us.”
Singh said the schools want to know the fund allocation for fees reimbursement in the budget.
Sources from ZP's Education Department, said the government cannot provide the whole amount at a time, and hence has released part of the dues, which will soon be distributed among the schools.
“Around 60 per cent of the schools have already registered with us and we have appealed to the rest to support us. We hope the registrations will be made by January 25, and the online application by students starts on Monday, January 29,” the sources said.
Only one-third schools register
- By January 20, the original deadline for schools to register for RTE, only 285 schools registered out of the 750 expected.
- Last year, 15,693 seats were available for students from economically weaker sections of society under RTE at 849 schools.
- This year, there are hardly 5,435 seats available. Thus, even with the extension given to the schools, there is a doubt on how many schools will actually register this year.