Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) Friday constituted an expert committee to review the disbursal of free school uniforms and books to students admitted under the EWS/DG category by private schools. As per RTE provisions, children admitted to schools under the EWS/DG category are entitled to exemption from school fees, including ancillary costs like that for school uniform and books.
The expenditure incurred by schools for this is to be reimbursed on the basis of per-child expenditure by the state government. But over the years, there have been consistent complaints by parents that they have not been receiving free uniforms and books.
In turn, private schools argue that the reimbursement – Rs 1,100 for uniforms and Rs 2,200 for other costs, including tuition and books – is too low and that funds are not received on time. “We react to complaints as and when we receive them and in 80 percent of these cases, we deliver relief to the aggrieved parents. However there is a need to look at why this problem is happening…,” said Anurag Kundu, member DCPCR, and part of the newly constituted reimbursement committee.
In order to review the implementation of reimbursement to schools, the committee will examine the criteria and amount of reimbursement, as well as “the process, adequacy and timelines of the actual disbursement to the schools…” Further, the committee is to examine the extent of compliance by private schools and the reasons of non-compliance, as well as look at the policy for the reimbursement of these items.