PUNE: While the admissions under the Right of Children under Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act are already very slow due to public holidays and ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the issue of reimbursement of fees to the private schools might again pose a hurdle to the process in the State.
The Independent English Schools Association (IESA) has stated that if the government denies the due reimbursement to a school, that school will not take new RTE admissions.
While last year, the State Government issued a GR stating that the schools’ due for reimbursement against 25 per cent admissions under RTE would be inspected by the education officers first, many schools seem to have been denied or given lower refunds. The reason stated for the same was that the school in question not following RTE norms.
“If the government can deny us our rightful money with the excuse of us not following the RTE admissions, then we will suggest that they should not send any new admissions to such schools this year. After all, they have to think about the children’s future,” President of IESA Rajendra Singh said.
Stating that the schools that have been denied money will not take admissions, he hinted that the individual schools, as well as the Association, might be sending letters regarding same to the Education Department soon.
Joint Secretary of Maharashtra Suvarna Kharat had recently released an order stating that the schools should mention their fees on their respective websites. The order had been brought in so that the department would be able to keep a tab on the actual fees of the schools and ensure that the schools receive only the accurate amount of reimbursement.
Ridiculing this, Singh further added, “There are around 22,000 such schools in Maharashtra, out of which hardly 22-23 per cent are in the cities. The rest are all in the semi-urban and rural areas. Also, around 80 per cent of these does not have a website. Their capacity ranges from 60 to 500 students, and they have never faced the need to have a website. After noticing this, now the government said that the fees should be displayed only if the school has a website.”
Reimbursement has become a major issue in the State and it has been hampering RTE admissions majorly. Last year, several schools had boycotted RTE admissions for around a month, until the High Court ordered them otherwise. Even education activists have condemned the apathy of the government towards the issue. Even this year, English schools in Latur have boycotted admissions.