Low EWS reimbursements hit Delhi's private schools

Delhi has not notified the reimbursement amount, but government has hinted that it could be around Rs1,200-1,500 per child

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | January 22, 2011



Low reimbursement from the state government is crippling the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) act in private schools, according to the schools' authorities.

The Delhi government's provisions for reimbursement, in some cases, falls short of the fees charged by these schools.

According to the RTE act, state governments have to  bear the basic tuition fees of children from economically weaker section taking admission in private schools. Delhi, though, is yet to notify the reimbursement amount. However, education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has said that the amount will be between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500 per child.

Jyoti Bose, Principal at Springdales Dhaulan Kuan, says “The sum is not sufficient. The government subsidy does not compensate the total amount. Even just the books cost around Rs 1000.”

She had hinted at a fee hike for general category students to be announced at the annual meeting of the school management committee in March.

R P Malik, chairperson of a federation of 300 privately run schools in the capital says, “The amount is really low. And we will not accept the money directly from the government, otherwise we will have to maintain separate accounts which will create extra burden on schools.” He suggests that the state government should give the money to beneficiaries of the landmark act.

After the implementation of the RTE act, private schools will have to reserve 25 percent seats for children from EWS.

The private schools which have received land at subsidised rate from the state government are already reserving 15 percent seats for economically poor kids. The government funds will only be given for additional 10 percent EWS students in these schools. For the rest, schools will have to spend from their own pockets. And those which have not received land will receive reimbursement for the entire quota.

Unaided private schools, in December, had indicated that the financial burden of implementing 25 percent quota will be passed on to other students. But the minister has said that the education department “will not allow any school to hike fees in the name of EWS quota”.

Many schools had complained of extra burden, but the data available at the department of education, Delhi government, shows that out of the total approximately 2,500 private schools, there are only 500 such schools which have tuition fee more than Rs 1,200 per month. And only 300 schools have tuition fee more than Rs 1,500.

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