Despite objections, 35 pvt schools apply for reimbursement under RTE
Notwithstanding their initial protests to the reimbursement rate fixed by the education department for 201213 under the Right to Education Act, 2009, over 35 of the city’s 55 private schools have so far applied for it.
Earlier this month, the department approved a sum of Rs 750 per child to be paid to private schools for admitting students belonging to underprivileged sections to their entry-level classes. This amount was lower that the reimbursement rate fixed for the previous sessions: the department had reimbursed Rs 860 per child in the 2010-11 session and Rs 825 per child in the 2011-12 session.
With 35 schools already accepting this year’s reimbursement rate, senior officials believe it no longer is a major issue. Among the leading schools who have so far applied for the reimbursement are Strawberry school-26, DPS-40, Bhavan Vidyalaya-33, RIMT-Manimajra and MDAV-22, said sources.
The education department will soon send another reminder to the remaining schools for them to apply.
“After this, we will be analysing their details and reimbursing them according to the rules,” said a department official.
The RTE Act mandates private schools to reserve 25% seats in entry-level classes for students belonging to economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups.
In a judgement last year, Punjab and Haryana high court had clarified that the education department was liable to reimburse for only 10% of the students belonging to the aforementioned categories as schools are bound to admit the remaining free-of-cost under the UT administration’s subsidised land allotment policy.
Meanwhile, the department has already begun to finalise the per child reimbursement rate for the recently concluded 2013-14 academic session. Department sources said that private schools had admitted over 400 students in the last academic session.
Private schools, meanwhile, demand an increase in the rate of reimbursement for the 201314 session. “Private schools are self funded. The department must ensure that they are not burdened and must adequately reimburse them,” said a school principal.