Pune: The representatives of the Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (MESTA) on Friday urged the state government to pay the pending reimbursements to schools for admissions in the 25% quota reserved under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
The association said the state government has not cleared the dues for the last three years. “The government has failed to budget for the expenses of reimbursing the fees of students. They asked for time and we waited, but if the government does not pay the reimbursement before schools begin in June, we will protest,” Sanjayrao Tayade Patil, founder president of the association, said while addressing a press conference.
Patil said meeting of all district heads of the association will be held soon to discuss the protest. “We may deny admissions under the RTE quota or close all our schools for a day or collect donations as a mark of protest,” he said.
Rajendra Singh, president of Pune zone of the association, said the government had denied reimbursements to the schools and now it threatens to take action against the schools if they deny admissions under RTE. “If there is no clarity on how these children’s education will be paid for, how can we be expected to go on admitting more batches of students? We will continue to allow students who have already been admitted to attend school, but may deny admissions to others,” he said.
Singh said about 75% of admissions under the RTE quota were still pending and the government’s vacillation on the issue of reimbursement has put the future of these children in jeopardy. There are some schools that can bear the cost of unpaid fees for three years, but some cannot bear the financial burden, he added.
“Schools may have to shut if this continues. A total of Rs 84 crore needs to be reimbursed for one year’s admissions. This amount has to be multiplied by three considering the number of years. The amount is huge and if the government ignores it now, it may be impossible to pay it in future,” he added.
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Source: The Times of India