TN: Not reimbursed for #RTE25, schools say future tough

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s compliance with the RTE Act has been dismal, at 11.3% admissions of the total number of seats available for 2013-2014, and chances are things could get worse. Private schools say they may not be able to admit more students under RTE in the coming year unless the government addresses the issue of reimbursements to them and unpaid dues.
Tamil Nadu Nursery , Primary , Ma triculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association secretary K R Nanda Kumar says the association will meet the governor on April 23 to share problems that schools face because the state is not reimburs ing them for the amount they spend to admit students under the act. The association includes CBSE schools.

“We requested the government to re solve the issue several times but we have not received any compensation for the past three years,” he said. “We raised the matter last year and the government assured us that it would sanction Rs 25 crore. That was in September but it has done nothing as yet.”

The association says thousands of students have been admitted in matriculation schools over the past year but none of the schools were reimbursed. Nanda Kumar said the outstanding reimbursements for the past three years totalled Rs 100 crore.

Director of Matriculation Schools R Pitchai says the education department has requested the government for Rs 25.13 crore, but it is yet to sanction the funds.”This is for the year 2013-14. We are in the process of calculating the reimbursement for the current year,” he said.

The State of the Nation: RTE Section 12 (c) report found that a major problem appears to be lack of clarity in rules framed by the government for implementation of the RTE Act in the state. It found that there was no clarity in the age criteria in Tamil Nadu, or for calculation of expenditure per child, the authority responsible to calculate the expenditure, how the authorities would finance uniforms and books or even the method of calculating the reimbursement.

Accountability Initiative was a partner in the report. Its director Yamini Aiyar says the low school participation rate in Tamil Nadu could be related to delays in reimbursement or the lack of clarity on how it is calculated. “Many schools are unclear if the waiver applies only to tuition fees or includes expenses on books, stationery and uniforms,” she said.

Soucre: Times of India

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