Indore: Due to lockdown and coronavirus pandemic, many private schools are on the verge of closing down due to non-payment of fees from parents and even government for students admitted under Right To Education (RTE) Act.
Payment of over Rs 36 crore from the government to private schools is pending accounting for the last two academic years. The settlement of this amount can save many schools from shutting down during these difficult times, as shared by MP Private School Association coordinator Gopal Soni.
“We have already submitted a memo to the district collector, commissioner and even Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the payment of RTE students, but to no use,” Soni said. He explained that this time of lockdown and school shut-down has severely affected most schools.
“Schools which are generally running as economic schools are now struggling and might even shut down if school fee is not paid and RTE amount is not settled,” Soni said. He explained that the RTE fee is remunerated after 2 to 4 years, which makes it very inconvenient for schools.
“The fee paid by the government is minimal and even if that is paid so late, then isn’t it obvious that schools will not be willing to admit students under RTE?” Soni said.
When asked about the last fee payment, Soni shared that the last payment of academic session 2017-18 was settled in May 2020. “After repeatedly approaching the administration, we received the amount of 2017-18, now the process for 2018-19 has begun,” he said.
Discussing the condition in CBSE schools, school principal and owner Mohit Yadav said, “It is a tedious task to collect RTE amount with lots of procedures, this further discourages schools from taking up RTE students.” However, it is compulsory for all the recognised schools to allot seats under RTE.
“With exception to minority schools, all other schools that are about 90 percent have to allot 25 percent seats to Right to Education (RTE) students,” Yadav said. He added that fee payments received from government are very late and it can affect the functioning of many small schools.
District project coordinator Akshay Singh Rathore said, “The amount for Indore every year under RTE is about Rs 18 crore.” He confirmed that the last amount was settled in May 2020.
“We have just begun the process for the 2018-2019 academic year and will settle the amount as soon as possible,” Rathore said.