Updated: July 16, 2021 9:23:15 pm
EVEN as the education department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has extended the deadline for admission to students under Right To Education (RTE), some schools continue to stall the process as the government has failed to reimburse the fee amount for a period of two years.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has 3,464 seats under the Right to Education Act in 181 schools. So far, only 50 per cent or around 1,700 admissions have taken place, forcing the civic body to extend the admission deadline.
PCMC Education Officer Jyotsna Shinde said, “Majority of schools have given admission to poor students under RTE Act. Only 13 schools are refusing to give admission. The schools are contending that until the government clears their dues, they will not provide the admission. We have issued notices to 13 schools while urging them to ensure that the children get admission under the Act.”
Shinde said they have asked parents to approach the PCMC verification committee in case the schools refuse admission. “Parents should approach our verification committee if the schools are not acting on their application for admission of their wards,” she said.
Rajendra Singh, president of the Independent English School Association, said, “In Pune district, the RTE Act is applicable in 985 schools. The schools which have given admission are waiting for fee reimbursement from the government. The government collectively owes Rs 200 crore to the schools in entire Pune district. So far, only Rs 12 crore has been received by schools. Of these, Rs 5 crore has been received by schools in Pimpri-Chinchwad,” he said.
Singh said in the absence of reimbursement, it is becomes difficult for the management to run the school. “A couple of schools have closed down for this reason while a few more are likely to shut down. Schools have to pay salaries to their staff and look after the infrastructure… Schools are waiting for reimbursement amount for… years. Till then, schools will continue to refuse admission,” he said, adding that if the government does not act immediately, officials from school management will be forced to go on an indefinite fast.
Ashok Godse, education extension officer of Pune Zilla Parishad, said, “It is true that schools are awaiting reimbursement of their fees from the government. As per our records, 985 schools in Pune district had filled up the forms for reimbursement. The schools have collectively demanded Rs 170 crore in reimbursement. So far, some schools have received Rs 12.43 crore. We have been following up with the education directorate, which has taken up the issue with the Education Ministry.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.