The Supreme Court order upholding the Right to Education Act, 2009 — which makes it mandatory for all private and government-aided schools to reserve 25% of their seats for the economically weaker section — will most certainly see fees going up in the coming years.
Schools in Delhi — the first state to implement RTE two years ago — say the government’s monthly reimbursement of R1,190 per child is just not enough to sustain the education costs of the quota students."This amount is too little. In case the amount isn’t increased, the expense will be shifted to general category students," said LV Sehgal¸ principal, Bal Bharati School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg, on Friday, a day after the court ruling.
The problem can’t be solved by adding more seats, as the city’s schools say they don’t have the infrastructure for this.
With the number of seats remaining the same and a large chunk set aside, the admission race will only get tighter.
But HRD minister Kapil Sibal said, “They (private schools) have so much reserved funds. Why can’t they use it for this social cause?”
The Delhi government, too, doesn’t see any problem that should lead to a fee hike.
Stating that the reimbursement amount was sufficient, education minister Arvinder Singh said, “Seventy per cent schools charge less than Rs 1,200 a month. They don’t have a problem with this (reimbursement) amount, so there is no scope for its revision right now.”
But RC Jain, president of Delhi State Public Schools Management Committee, said: “The government has no mechanism to revise the reimbursement every year, so we will be stuck with this amount for a long time.”