Pvt schools cry foul over non-reimbursement of RTE fee

Bhubaneswar: A day after the School and Mass Education department threatened to take action against majority of private schools in the State for flouting Right to Education (RTE) Act, the school authorities have accused the former for not releasing fees of students admitted in respective schools under the Act.

The Act mandates reservation of a minimum 25% seats to provide free education to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of the society.

“For the past four years we have been writing to the State government as well as the Block Education Officer (BEO) for reimbursement of the fees of the students who have taken admission under RTE Act in our school. But our requests have fallen in deaf ears. Now on what basis we will admit the students under the Act and who will bear expenses of the students?” asked Sandhya Jena, principal BJEM school.

A similar allegation was also levelled by another school head.

“The government gives big assurances while forming such Acts. When implementation of the same comes, it takes a back seat. In these cases how will we run the institutions?”, asked a principal of private school here who didn’t want to be named.

Despite repeated attempts, concerned authorities were not available for comments on this.

On Thursday, School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra informed Assembly as many as 212 private schools in the State have flouted RTE guidelines. Later he said show-cause notice will be sent to these schools asking why action will not be taken against them for violating the RTE Act.