With the education department reimbursing pending EWS bills worth Rs 4 lakh to the nine eligible city schools a few days ago,city-based Independent School Association (ISA) alleged the department reduced the amount of the bills to Rs 4 lakh from Rs 84 lakh.
H S Mamik,ISA president said,Pending bills worth Rs 84 lakh are reduced to only Rs 4 lakh. It is surprising. The Chandigarh Administration has made certain laws by themselves. There is no such authority which can regulate the school fees. It is entirely upto a school to charge any amount from a student. If we are charging Rs 3,000-4,000 per student monthly,we are charging 25 per cent of this amount from the EWS student. The government needs to reimburse this amount to us.
According to education department officials,the department is not responsible to reimburse the inflated bills claimed by school authorities. The amount the government pays for each student is fixed under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. When the schools are recognised under RTE Act,they have to abide by the said rules and regulations of the Act. They have no right to charge high amounts from the EWS students. Many schools have claimed inflated bills. They have included transport fees,uniform,water and electricity charges in it. The government is supposed to reimburse only that amount which has been fixed under the Act.
The District Education Officer (DEO),Ram Kumar Sharma said,We have been reminding all schools to submit their details since two years,but most schools did not reply. We also wrote to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on this issue,but we did not get a reply from there as well. It was then that the education department decided to reimburse the bills by itself. Schools might have claimed huge amounts of Rs 84 lakh but if they didnt follow the RTE rule,we cannot reimburse them. If any school still comes up with a claim,we are ready to reimburse the amount only if they follow RTE guidelines.
We will have to shut down our schools,if the department doesnt reimburse our bills. If going by the RTE Act schools are reimbursed Rs 865 per EWS student,the bill of Rs 4 lakh means the department has paid for not more than 40 students. There are more than 400 EWS students studying in private schools. Who will pay for those students? asked Mamik.
We will continue to protest and have even asked the Administration to organise an open-house meeting to confirm what the education department wants from us? added Mamik.
According to ISA,13 city private schools claimed reimbursement for having admitted EWS students under the RTE Act for the session 2011-13. St. Soldiers International School,Sector 28,Ashiana Public School,Sector 46,New Public School,Sector 18,AKSIPS,Sector 41 and 45,Stepping Stones School,Sector 38,Paragon Stepping Stones School,Sector 26,Saupins School,Sector 32,St Kabir Public School,Sector 26,Sri Guru Gobind Singh Collegiate Public School,Sector 26,Mount Carmel School,Sector 47,St Josephs School,Sector 44 and Tender Heart School had claimed reimbursement of pending EWS bills worth Rs 84 lakh.