The pre-matric scholarship scheme, which was launched to encourage the minority communities to send kids to school by easing their financial load, has proved to be a burden for many. As many as 1,912 students have been asked to return Rs 385 when they join classes after the vacations on January 4.
The education department paid Rs 1385 to around 4,900 students of Classes 6 to 10 of government, government-aided and private schools as the first instalment of the pre-matric scholarship.
Sources said the education department had paid the amount after verbal directions from the welfare department, but that it was later told “in writing” that the students of Classes 6 to 8 had to be paid only Rs 1,000, the others Rs 1,700, and the private school students Rs 4,800.
While, in the second installment, the students of Classes 9 and 10 of government/aided schools were paid Rs 315 in the second installment, the students of Classes 6 to 8 were asked to repay the “extra” amount.
Sources added that the recovered amount will be given to the minority students in private schools, who were paid Rs 2390 in the second installment, and still have more than Rs 1,000 pending.
The educations department’s decision, conveyed through a letter on December 24, has riled many, including teachers, who called it “humiliating”.
“The department is so irresponsible… they should have made all this clear earlier…,” said a government school teacher who did not wish to be named. “Asking them to return the amount now will be embarrassing for the poor students who were already short of the basic necessities.”