CHENNAI: Private schools are disappointed that the money for admissions under the right to education (RTE) has not been reimbursed. “For the first three years, the State government coaxed us to do it. This year some of us were motivated after we were asked to submit bank account details. We thought the money would come but so far nothing has happened,” said the president, Tamil Nadu Private Matriculation Schools Association, R Vishalakshi.
She also said instead of the government re-routing funds back to private schools, it should work on improving the quality of public schools. “A number of government schools are closing down because of lack of students. If they are run well, government wouldn’t be doubly burdened,” she said.
Despite being an Act to help the poor, the RTE was being misused by the middle class as the rule allowed students whose parents earned less than Rs 2 lakh a year. However, prominent educationists Express spoke to said the Act wasn’t properly implemented. “If the RTE Act was properly implemented, then most of the private schools would have to shut down as they didn’t comply fully,” said former vice-chancellor, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University and prominent educationist V Vasanthi Devi. Even if they weren’t given funds, private schools must continue taking in students under RTE, she added. “Many schools have violated RTE norms and even treat students admitted under the Act differently. So they are not justified in asking for a reimbursement,” said education activist Prince Gajendra Babu.