RTE reimbursement goes down; leaves Rajasthan private schools jittery

JAIPUR: Private schools in Rajasthan have raised objection to the sharp decline in reimbursement on account of admissions under the Right to Education. Rajasthan is the only state in the country which has slashed the RTE reimbursement per unit twice in the last two years. Per student reimbursement has been slashed from Rs 17,500 in 2015-16 to Rs 13,945 in 2017-18 leaving the private schools jittery. The per unit expenditure in 2016-17 was Rs 15,029.
The reimbursement for RTE is similar to the cost spent by the state on students enrolled in its schools. The expenditure is calculated by dividing the total expenditure spent on students from class I to VIII. The expenditure is calculated on the basis of salaries paid to teachers, grant for facilities to schools up to upper primary and cost on books.

Damodar Goyal, president of Society for Private Unaided Schools in Rajasthan says that the clear impact of the slash will leave schools with no choice but to increase the fees. “Schools have no choice to fill the financial burden from the remaining students or non-RTE students. The cost of every single article in the country is rising so the expenditure per child by the private schools is rising,” said Goyal.
A private school requesting anonymity says that even if they don’t count a single penny on anything other than the salaries of their teachers their expenditure shot by 5% to 8%. “As every hardworking employee expects a reward in terms of annual increment so the teachers and staff expect the same. The reimbursement which we receive does not make even 20% of the annual fee we charge,” said a principal of a private school.
Explaining the reduction in reimbursement, a government official explains that the state has added around 18 lakh students in last 3 years with rationalization of teachers and closing down of several hundred schools has reduced the per child expenditure. “The correction in per unit cost to continue for couple of more years before the cost will rise,” said a government official.

The state has highest number of students admitted under the RTE. The cumulative figure is around 7 lakh students across the state. State pays reimbursement in two instalments to private schools after several rounds of verification of students.

Source: The Times of India

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