Stepping Stones starts refunding money taken from EWS students

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2016 12:36 IST
Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, schools cannot charge any money from EWS students — who have a quota of 25% in private schools in the city. The UT administration reimburses the cost to the schools. (Photo courtesy: Stepping Stones Facebook page )

Amidst the controversy of private schools charging fee from students enrolled under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota, Stepping Stones School, Sector 38, has decided to refund the money to EWS students after a notice from the education department.

A fortnight ago, HT reported that the school authorities were issued a warning to either refund the money taken from the EWS students or else the institute will be derecognised. A parent of an EWS student had filed a complaint stating that the school was taking Rs 1,000 per month from EWS students.

The school authorities had claimed that fee was taken from parents on a voluntary-basis.

Talking to HT, school manager Narender Kumar said, “Even though we had made it clear to the parents from Day 1 that this money will be refunded to them, once it is reimbursed to us by the education department, we have started the process to refund the money.”

The school was given time till August 5 to respond to director school education’s (DSE) notice.

The reply filed by the school management states, “.…The deposits were always meant to be dispersed….As per your (education department) instructions, we have initiated the process of returning the deposits made by the parents…. All students enrolled in pre-nursery for the current session have been requested to come to the office and collect their cheques.”

DSE Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “We are keeping a strict watch. If any other school is found taking money from EWS students, it will be dealt with strictly as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The estate office officials are also trying to monitor the situation through inspections.”

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