Schools that had been allotted land at subsidied rates and which were expecting to be reimbursed for admitting 25 % students under the economically weaker section (EWS) category are in for a shocker.
The Delhi government has specified that as these schools had promised to provide free education to poor students — varying from 15 to 20 % — in lieu of the subsidised land, they would be reimbursed only for the admissions made over and above that agreed percentage.
For example, if a school had agreed to provide free education to 20 % poor students, they would be reimbursed only for five %.
The RTE makes it mandatory for schools to reserve 25 % seats for EWS students.
In a circular to all private schools, the Delhi government’s education department also finalised the amount to be reimbursed to all eligible schools for admitting students under the EWS category — a maximum of Rs 1,190 will be paid per child every month.
"The amount we have fixed is what our Delhi government schools spend on each student. However, schools allotted land by the government will be reimbursed only for the number of students admitted over and above what is specified in the lease agreement," said a senior Delhi government official.
School authorities have claimed there is still no clarity over the issue.
"The lease letter did not quote any % of EWS students to be admitted, and so we have been following the RTE guidelines. We don’t know what the reimbursement plans are," said Manju Bharat Ram, chairperson of Sri Ram School in Vasant Vihar.
Some schools are confused if they would be compensated only for the current financial year or from 2009, when the RTE Act came into existence.
"While the circular says schools will be reimbursed for the year 2011-12, it is important to know whether or not we will be reimbursed for the last three years," said Ameeta Wattal, vice-chairperson National Progressive Schools Conference (NPSC).