Though the UT Education Department is breathing down the necks of the private schools to ensure that they implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the schools are claiming that their bill for the last two years seeking reimbursement of fees pertaining to economic weaker section (EWS) students are yet to be cleared by the education department.
Two years ago, the UT Administration had asked the schools to implement the RTE Act. This year the schools have already completed the process of selling and submitting the priced admission forms for the entry level class and draw of lots in schools are due for January 17.
The UT education department has assured the schools that it will reimburse 10 per cent of the fees, however nothing in writing has been given to the schools about it.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, the Independent Schools Association (ISA) president H S Mamik said, “The last two years’ bills worth Rs 1 crore are still pending with the Education Department authorities. Neither are they clearing it, nor are they clarifying the issued raised for implementing the EWS quota.”
ISA had already written two letters to the UT education department seeking clarification regarding the implementation of EWS quota, but to no effect.
ISA sought clarification on the points that if the reservation of 15 per cent EWS students is not a part of the RTE Act then would the total reservations add up to 40 per cent (25 per cent +15 percent).
As per UT Administration’s notification in 1996, 2000 and 2005, the schools who were allotted land, should have to give 15 per cent reservation.
ISA further questioned that if the 15 per cent EWS is being implemented on post-1996 land allotment, then as per the notification/ condition the seats are to be chargeable at nominal rates. There is no condition of free seats in any allotment letter or notification.
Schools are feeling that the third admission process under the RTE will be done by January, but they are clueless about the implementation of the quota and reimbursement of the amount.
When UT Education Secretary V K Singh was asked about the issue, he said, “We are working on the issues. I cannot comment on the exact amount, but Rs 1 crore is an exaggerated figure. The work is under process.”
Repeated attempts were made to contact Director Public Instructions (DPI) (Schools) Upkar Singh, but he failed to respond.