Rajasthan schools asks EWS students under RTE to pay 8- year fee
A private school in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district has allegedly served legal notices to more than a dozen students to pay fee for eight years. The legal notice said if they don’t pay the fee, amounting to more than one lakh rupees, in 15 days, legal action will follow.
According to the parents, the students from economically weaker section (EWS) families were admitted to the school under Right to Education (RTE). But the school authorities said the admissions were not under RTE and the parents were informed about this but they kept delaying payment of fees.
“The state government has not reimbursed tuition fee of these students and therefore they cannot be considered as RTE students,” the legal notice said.
The parents met the Bikaner district collector and secondary education director on Monday to complain against the legal notice.
Manoj Panwar, whose son Jaivardhan studies in Class 5 at this school, said he applied under RTE in 2012-13 under an offline process. “After fulfilling the formalities described in the act, I was granted admission for my son. A few days ago the school made a note in my son’s school dairy about dues of eight years and now served me a legal notice demanding fees over 1 lakh,” he said.
Panwar said when he objected to this, the school told him to pay the fee or face legal consequences.
Another parent, who didn’t want to be named, said his monthly income was Rs 8,000 and that he would be unable to pay the fees. “The school has asked me to pay Rs 1,17,520 as fees from Nursery to Class 5. I can’t afford to pay this amount,” he said.
The school said they hadn’t demanded fee from any student admitted under the EWS category. “These parents were told that their wards were not selected as RTE beneficiaries. The school administration had been asking them to pay dues and they have been promising to pay,” said principal Sunita Taneja.
Meanwhile, the education department has ordered an inquiry into the case to examine the facts and assured the parents that no schools will be permitted to charge any undue sum from the parents, said Nathmal Didel, director of secondary education in Rajasthan.