Coimbatore | RTE report to be tabled today, but key details may be missing

Coimbatore: The district school education department had sought a three-day extension to submit its report on admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) to the directorate of matriculation schools (DMS). The report that was supposed to be submitted on June 18 is expected to reach officials in Chennai on Wednesday.

After a Madras high court directive earlier this month, the DMS was asked to publish details of admissions under RTE in the past two years and also in this academic year. Following this, the director of matriculation schools, Pitchai R had ordered the chief educational officers of all districts to compile all relevant details such as the number of seats under RTE in private schools and the number of admissions made, and also verify details pertaining to fees paid by parents for RTE and the amounts claimed by schools for reimbursements.

All district school education departments across the state had formed committees to inspect private schools. These committees included a high and a higher secondary school head, an assistant education officer, a block resource teacher and a department official. These committees were to inspect 15 schools on an average between June 15 and 18.

However, according to an official of the district school education department, the committee could not compile the details due to lack of coordination between the parents and the school managements. “Parents could not find time to meet the committees. So we could not collect details of fees paid by them despite admitting their children under RTE,” the official said.

Without the fee details, the committees cannot verify the amount claimed by schools for reimbursements.

Private schools allegedly collected fees from parents of those admitted under RTE as the state government was delaying the reimbursement for the past two years.

An official of the department, who is also a member of one of the committees, said, “We cannot expect the parents to be present when we visit the school for inspection. Most parents could be working professionals and cannot make it to the school during their working hours.”

The official said that the parents can instead be asked to submit the details to the schools, which can be verified when the committee members visit the school.

Another department official said, “There are over 400 schools that we have to inspect within a week’s time. While details pertaining to admissions will be available with schools, those regarding fees have to be verified with the parents.”

The official said that they should be given more time to ensure that all parents can submit the details. “If a parent does not meet the committee, then we will have to account what the school says, and mention the amount in the report for reimbursement,” said the official.

Source: The Times of India

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