44 K Delhi govt school students yet to receive uniform subsidy due to ‘defunct’ bank accounts
The directorate of education is unable to disburse the money to 44,191 students as their bank accounts have not been submitted/entered online on the directorate website or their accounts are non-functionalUpdated: Dec 04, 2018 07:51 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nine months into the academic session, as many as 44,191 government school students are yet to receive subsidy for uniforms from the directorate of education (DoE) as their bank accounts are “non functional”. The DoE transfers the subsidy directly to students’ bank accounts.
According to the circular issued by DoE’s consultant (planning) NT Krishna to the heads of all government schools in Delhi last week, the department has transferred the subsidy to 14,20,191 students. “The directorate of education is unable to disburse the money to 44,191 students as their bank accounts have not been submitted/entered online on the directorate website or their accounts are non-functional,” the circular said.
The highest number of complaints about bank accounts — 9,692— was reported from schools in north-east district of Delhi, followed by those in the south-east at 6,629, and 5,810 from east Delhi schools.
“The head of schools are advised to act fast and enter details of these students latest by December 10,” Krishna said.
As per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, students of government schools are entitled to receive free books, stationery items and uniforms up to class 8. The Delhi government distributes books to these students and transfer subsidy for uniforms and stationery directly into their bank accounts once a year.
Sanjay Goel, director DoE, said, “These students are either irregular or took late admissions. There are cases wherein students had enrolled in schools but never turned up. In such cases, it is very difficult to trace them. We have asked our district education officers to personally monitor such cases,” he said.
Officials at a government boys’ school in east Delhi said there are cases wherein students have taken admissions in more than one school. “There are so many cases wherein students have enrolled in more than one school and their names have appeared at two or three places,” a head of one such East Delhi school said.
Several parents said they had bought summer uniforms on their own and are now expecting to receive the money at least for winter uniforms.
“The winter uniforms are comparatively expensive. My son is of a growing age and can’t wear his last year’s sweater. I hope the money comes soon,” Sheela Devi, a domestic help and mother of a class 6 student, said.
Experts said the cash transfer mechanism is “highly defective”. “When the Delhi high court held in 2014 that cash subsidy is not acceptable and the elected government of Delhi decided to provide entitlements on or before April 1 of every year, then where is the question of cash transfer? The right of children cannot be taken away for the sake of not having bank accounts,” Khagesh Jha, a lawyer representing parents in several such cases before the Delhi high court, said.
First Published: Dec 04, 2018 07:51 IST