Committee to look into RTE reimbursement

Committee to look into RTE reimbursement

State yet to finalise rules; 25 pc quota for poor students expected only next year

Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 25 per cent of seats in Class I will be reserved for poor students. As per the latest draft of the RTE rules, under preparation by the State government, the committee will be headed by the Secretary to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education.

Besides officials from the education department, the committee also features officials from Finance department, Planning department and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

While the committee is heavily loaded in favour of the government, there are also non-government nominees: one educationist nominated by the government, a representative of private schools association and a representatives of NGOs.

Estimates

The State government has informed the Centre 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.

This estimate is likely to rile up private schools, as the figure represents only a fraction of the true costs.

The education law clearly states that schools will be reimbursed only the expenditure incurred by State governments on children in its schools.

In reality, many schools have accepted that the remaining 'paying' students will subsidise the education of those under the free quota.

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

With admissions already concluded for this year, and the State government yet to finalise the rules, the implementation of the 25 per cent quota is expected only by next year.

The latest draft rules also specify that reimbursement will be done through electronic fund transfer, with 50 per cent of the funds transferred to schools in September, and the remaining 50 per cent by January.

What the law says

Section 12(2) of the RTE Act says: (Private school) 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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