In response to HT’s report on Monday that shed light on how parents were upset over the inefficiency of the bank account arrangement for distribution of uniforms to over 1 lakh students of Classes 1 to 8 of local government schools, education-cum-finance secretary said he would look into the same and consider revision of budget approved for uniform of these students.
Elaborating on the approved budget of `300 for students of Classes 1 to 5 and `375 for Classes 5 to 8, education secretary Sarvjit Singh said, “This had been decided keeping in mind the consolidated data of previous years’ expenditure and it was discussed extensively in meetings held before the bank accounts of the families were opened in March this year.”
A senior official of the education department requesting anonymity shared that the call to transfer relatively small amount to the bank accounts of these parents was undertaken so the education department could rub the blame off their shoulders. What the source meant was the action was motivated to make money of uniform distribution. This dates back to last year when education department officials had been blamed for delay in winter uniforms distribution and making ‘excessive’ money in the name of school uniforms.
As per information gathered from the department, a committee had been formed which comprised of the UT adviser as well as the finance-cum-education secretary along with other officials to decide this amount. “We decided on the amount only because to our understanding it was possible to purchase the required uniform in this amount or perhaps it was possible when uniform sets were purchased in bulk. However, if parents feel the `300 or `375 doesn’t suffice, we shall consider revision of budget depending on the inflation from time to time, but the same can only be implemented from the next academic session.”
Taking precautionary measures, district education officer Vinay Sood told HT the department would transfer the money for winter uniform well on time this year. “We have received the approval for the same and will initiate the transfer process soon. `350 has been decided for students of Classes 1 to 5, and `425 for classes 5 to 8 and extra money will be transferred for jerseys,” added Sood. `451 has been approved for Classes 1 to 5 and `499 for students of Classes 5 to 8.
Meanwhile, education department officials have speeded up work as the process to transfer money for notebooks has already been initiated. A total of `105 will be transferred for students of Classes 1 to 5 and `123 for students of Classes 5 to 8.