Govt to reimburse schools at Rs 13,000 per child for RTE

This figure represents an upper-bound on what the schools will be eligible to receive for providing free education to poor students.

The controversial provision in the RTE Act to set aside at least 25 pc of seats to poor students will rile several private schools, as this figure is only a fraction of the true costs of their education.

The education law clearly states that schools will be reimbursed only up to the expenditure incurred by State governments on children in their schools. The State government has informed the Central government that it currently spends Rs 13,000 annually on a child. The per child expenditure has risen from Rs 9,524 last year to Rs 13,000 for 2011-12.

The RTE provision was brought in to keep a check on financing the ambitious Act, while at the same time providing more options to children from poor families.

The reservation scheme will be not be implemented this year, as the State government is yet to finalise the rules for implementing the Act. More importantly, the State government and the Union government is yet to finalise the expenditure sharing for implementation of the Right to Education Act.

Private schools that receive aid from the government will receive no reimbursement for seats in proportion to the aid  they receive.  Schools that also have committed to providing free education in return for receiving land or other facilities at concessional rates will not receive reimbursement.

Provisions of the Act

Section 12(1)(c)

(private schools) shall admit in class I, to the extent of at least twenty-five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory elementary education till its completion.

Section 12(2)

(Private schools) providing free and compulsory elementary education ..shall be reimbursed expenditure so incurred by it to the extent of per-child-expenditure incurred by the State, or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less.

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