Schools yet to get RTE reimbursements

Nearly a month after the government announced the release of funds for reimbursing fees for the reserved quota seats under the Right To Education Act (RTE), the money has reached very few students, according to heads of schools.

In a circular issued on February 6, the Department of Public Instruction announced the release of Rs 160.23 crore towards reimbursement for the year 2014-15.

The headmistress of a school in Thippasandra, Bengaluru, said she had gone to the authorities to claim the reimbursement, but was told that the amount was still being processed. “There are five students who study here under the reserved quota and this roughly amounts to around Rs 30,000. The department should keep its word and pay the amount on time,” she told Deccan Herald on the condition of anonymity.

D Shashi Kumar, director, Blossoms School, Kanakapura Road, said his school was yet to get around Rs two to three lakh as RTE reimbursement. “Only a few schools in Kolar and Gauribidanur under the Associated Managements of English Medium School in Karnataka have been reimbursed so far,” he said in his capacity as the general secretary of the association. K Anand, director, Primary Education, DPI, said that while the amount had been released, the responsibility of disbursing it at the ground level fell on the deputy directors of public instruction and the block education officers.

Unaided schools under the ambit of the RTE Act are eagerly awaiting the reimbursement amount this year. The reason being, unlike in previous years when the amount was released in two instalments (around September and January), the government decided to release this year’s amount in one shot, which according to schools, has led to a lot of inconvenience.

“A number of mid-level schools run their routines with the monthly fees and with less or no reserve funds. Such schools have faced hardships in terms of paying teachers their salaries and other overheads such as PF, ESI, to name a few. Added to this are other expenditures on maintenance such as rent, electricity, etc,” said Shashi Kumar.

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