With the admisssion season set to begin, schools that have already admitted poor students under the Right To Edu-cation (RTE) Act claim that they are yet to be reimbursed by the state government.
According to the Act, schools have to set aside up to 25% of their strength at the entry level for poor children from the neighbourhood. The state had said it would pay up to Rs10,000 for each quota student annually.
Although the notification came too late last year for all schools to implement the clause, about 67,000 students in the state were admitted through the quota.
“We admitted 65 students through the quota but haven’t received anything till now. If this continues, it will be a burden for the management,” said Suresh Nair, principal of Vivek Vidya-laya, Goregaon. Nair added that the school was due Rs6 lakh from the government.
The school education department said schools need to apply for the money and will get it if they have followed the proper procedure. “Schools have to show that they have followed the proper process to admit students through the quota and once we are satisfied with it, we will release the money,” said J Saharia, additional chief secretary, school education department.
Schools seemed unaware about the application process and said they are yet to hear anything from the government. “We are in the dark,” said a school principal from the suburbs, who did not want to be named. “It may later lead to a problem. There is nothing that we have been told officially.”
School managements are afraid that they will be unable to bear the cost of the quota in the coming years, if they are not reimbursed. “In the future it will affect us,” said Premlata Navandar, principal of Bangur Nagar Vidya Mandir.