Govt misses deadline to reimburse fees of SC/ST students

Despite the Bombay high court order, the state government has not yet reimbursed private funded and unaided schools the tuition fee of Rs6.5 lakh students from scheduled castes and tribes.

The high court had directed the state government to reimburse the fee of students from Class 1 to Class 10 by July 15, 2013.

But, unable to get a Cabinet nod for some stages of payment, the state government failed to meet this deadline.

"We have not yet reimbursed the funds to schools for education of such children. We are awaiting the cabinet’s nod on a few issues,’’ said Shivajirao Moghe, minister of social justice.

The high court had issued an order in April this year, stating that the government had to pay Rs10,000 per child, per year from Class 1 to 4 and then Rs25,000 from Class 5 to 8 per child, per year.

The amount for students of Class 9 and 10 is only Rs3,600 per child per year, as per the Right to Education Act (2009).

"We are thinking of filing a contempt petition in the high court against the state government for failing to meet the deadline stipulated by the court," said Naresh Gosavi, a parent whose child was forced to leave Chembur English School, and who had filed the public interest litigation in 2010.

Gosavi and several other parents whose children are studying in private-aided and unaided schools under this "free studentship" filed a case after school stopped their children from attending because the government had not reimbursed the funds for the "free studentship".

These funds have been pending since 2007. Schools paid for the "freeship" on their own for a few years, but now, many schools have stopped offering it “It is part of the welfare duty of the government to offer such freeships as per a government resolution issued in 1970.

This resolution has not been cancelled. The government has to follow it,’’ Gosavi said.


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