COIMBATORE: Private schools across Tamil Nadu are shocked, for they have received far lesser compensation for admissions under the Right to Education Act in 2017-18 compared to previous years. State authorities have reduced the ‘per-child expenditure’ — based on which reimbursements are made to private schools for admissions under RTE Act — from Rs 25,000 to Rs 11,000, a move that may hit poor students.
As per the Act, students from underprivileged backgrounds must be provided free education in private schools and the cost of their education would be reimbursed by the State government. States must fix a per-child expenditure for every class — the maximum amount that the government pays to the school.
In a government order issued in June 2017, the school education department fixed the expenditure for the academic year 2016-17 at Rs 25,000 for classes 1-5. In December 2018, school education secretary Pradeep Yadav issued another government order, reducing the amount to Rs 11,000 (LKG-Class 5).
The amount was fixed by taking into consideration the expenditure incurred on providing education per child, said a senior official. Responding, president of TN private schools association R Visalakshi said school managements were not even aware of the change.
“The government has done this without consulting stakeholders like us,” she said. Educationist Prince Gajendrababu felt the move would further affect students. “Already, schools are asking RTE quota students to first pay the fees and collect the money later when reimbursement comes from the government. Now that the amount has been reduced, they may face more troubles.”
‘Based on expert advice’
Officials say the decision was made based on the advice given by Directorate of Elementary Education and Directorate of School Education