Three months after the new academic session started, private schools in the city are still awaiting a decision by the Education Department on reimbursement bills for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS). Schools have said reimbursement bills for the past two years — 2013-14 and 2014-15 — are also yet to be cleared for most schools.
Independent Schools Association (ISA) says many schools have not been reimbursed in the past two years and an amount of nearly Rs 15 lakh is pending with the Education Department.
Department officials , however, said that every year, of the 82 private schools, over 40 submit their details to claim the EWS bills but only 9-10 schools are found eligible to get the reimbursement.
Only the schools that follow the criteria of reserving 25 per cent seats for EWS students at the entry level gets the reimbursement, they said.
Director, Public Instructions (Schools), Kamlesh Kumar, said, “We have been reimbursing the dues from time to time. I urge the schools to forward their claims and receive the dues within a week.”
Kumar also clarified that in cases in which a school is already under obligation to provide free education to a specified number of children on account of it having received any land, building, equipment or other facilities, either free of cost or at a concessional rate, the school would not be entitled for reimbursement to the extent of such
The reimbursement has to be made only for 10 per cent of the students belonging to EWS as schools are bound to admit 15 per cent candidates free of cost under the UT administration’s subsidised land allotment policy.
The reimbursed EWS bills for 2010-11 was Rs 81,560, for 2011-12 it was Rs 3,84,600 and for 2012-13, the department had reimbursed a total of Rs 4.6 lakh to the schools on the basis of per child expenditure.
“For the previous two years, we paid around Rs 8 lakh to eligible schools. We had kept aside Rs 50 lakh from the budget only for such reimbursements last year but a majority of the schools did not come forward to claim their bills,” said Kumar.
ISA president HS Mamik said, “We had asked the department to reimburse us on the basis of what we are spending on the facilities and infrastructure provided to the students. Private schools cannot afford to do charity work for the government.”