Saturday, April 20, 2013

Unrealistic pegging of reimbursement irks pvt schools

Eileen Singh, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, April 19, 2013
With the education department almost fixing the reimbursement amount to be paid to private schools under the provisions of the Right to Education Act for teaching economically weak students for free between Rs. 800 and Rs. 900, the latter are crying foul, though final orders are awaited.
Further, the department has denied paying for 15% seats in such schools arguing that these were covered under the land allotment scheme.
Independent Schools Association (IHA) president HS Mamik said, “The decision has been taken in a hurry as the deadline that has long expired. We are confused as the media has reported that the department will not reimburse for 15% seats as they come under the land clause.”
“The land allotment clause, revised in 2005, says we can charge the students; now the department is apparently saying that the clause means we need to provide free education. The department is reneging on its own decision,” added Mamik.
The schools have cried hoarse, claiming they were not consulted before the decision was taken. “The department did not consult us even once. Previously, we were asked to forward a quotation, which we did; they have fixed an amount belying reality,” added Mamik.
“The department had exempted those schools which were allotted land before 1996, but now has included all,” said Priyanka Shamrma, who is a teacher at a prominent private school.

Private schools have said that since new sessions have already started this year, it would not be possible to implement the RTE Act. They would ponder over the newly-risen situation in the next session.
Revised position
On July 29, 2005, Section 18 of the land clause was amended. As per the revision, 15% seats in private schools were to be reserved for students belonging to economically weaker sections, and the fees charged be nominal, preferably the same as in government institutions.

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