RTE: Lokayukta directs probe into excess fee

RTE: Lokayukta directs probe into excess fee

Lokayukta has directed the Commissioner of Public Instructions to hold an enquiry into reports that schools were collecting excess fee from students enrolled under the Right to Education (RTE) quota.

In an informal enquiry by the Lokayukta police in Badami taluk in Bagalkot district, it was found that many schools were collecting fee without issuing any receipts.

Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty had ordered an informal enquiry by the Lokayukta police based on an anonymous complaint. The complaint stated that many schools were collecting excess fee in the name of donation and development charges. The enquiry team visited 14 schools in the taluk and took statements of parents who had enrolled their children in private schools under the RTE scheme. 

The Lokayukta police enquiry report stated that a total 819 students are enrolled in 14 unaided schools in Badami. Some schools have collected Rs 10,000 from each student admitted under RTE.

"A circular from the office of the commissioner public instructions directs the schools not to collect any fee from the students admitted under the RTE. When some parents approached the jurisdictional block education officer, the parents were told to somehow settle the issue with the school management," an official said.

Lokayukta Justice Shetty viewed the report seriously and directed the department of Public Instructions to hold an enquiry in other districts also. "This is a serious matter which calls for an investigation by the authorities concerned. The proceedings of the enquiry is forwarded to commissioner of public instructions and principal secretary to Education department to get a thorough enquiry conducted. It is also needless to point out that the authorities of the state are required to examine whether similar things are happening in other institutions of the state also,'' Justice Shetty said.

The Lokayukta has directed the authorities to submit a status report within three months with regard to the eight schools in Badami taluk and generally in respect of all other schools in the state.