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Monday, July 22, 2024

29800 schools in Rajasthan await reimbursement – Sonia’s RTE law continues to wreak havoc

The Right to Education Act 2010 introduced by the UPA-2 government at the behest of the extra-constitutional NAC headed by Sonia Gandhi, continues to wreak havoc on Hindu-run private schools across the country.

As per a Times of India report, 29800 schools in Rajasthan who admitted students from poor families under RTE (the Act mandates 25% reserved seats for economically backward sections in all non-minority run schools) have complained of not receiving reimbursement from the state government for up to past two years, making it difficult for them to continue running the institutes:

“Last year, 2.10 lakh students were admitted under RTE in 29,800 private schools in the state and none of them received the second installment due since October 2019.

The state has estimated Rs 350 crore as reimbursement against the RTE admissions to the private schools for 8 lakh students it has admitted since from 2012. Till March, they have allocated Rs 182 crore of the total as part of the first installment, while the rest amount is pending till date. Officially, the first installment has to be released by July end and the second installment by October end.

Most students admitted under the RTE Act are in low-income and middle-income schools. Almost half the schools have been paid just one installment in August-September by the state, while the second installment is yet to be processed.

“None of the schools have received the second installment of academic session 2019-20. For low income and middle-income level schools, every penny counts. The chronic delay derails everything like salaries and variable cost on power, water and maintenance,” said Kishen Mittal of Swayamsevi Shikshan Sanstha Sangh, a body of RBSE schools.

The body has submitted a representation to chief minister Ashok Gehlot stating that it will be difficult for them to admit students under this Act in the upcoming academic session. The RTE admissions are starting from July 9. The representation says that the delay is not for this year but around 50% of schools have yet to get the second installment of 2018-19 years. “The delay in payments up to two years is costing dearly to the private schools severely. Even after submitting all the documents, the department officials come up with some discrepancy or the other,” said Mittal.

Sahyog Senior Secondary School at New Sanganer Road has a total of 80 students under the Act. “The state has yet to pay Rs 3.50 Lakh due from the academic year 2018-19. This year again the pendency continues forcing us to freeze everything even the necessary repair work required before the monsoon,” said Om Prakash, principal of the school.

Reacting to the allegations from the school, a government official says that documentation is required for releasing the amount. “In most cases, schools fail to furnish the documents like Aadhar Card of students. Also, the delay in submitting the documents jumps them to the second installment,” said an official. Another problem which creates hurdles in the reimbursement process is that almost all students under the RTE remain regular for some months. while in the second half they become irregular and marked no show by the officials.”

Instead of improving the functioning of government schools, the anti-Hindu cabal of foreign-funded left-liberals who constituted Sonia Gandhi’s NAC decided to target Hindu-run private schools through the ill-advised RTE Act, which they managed to pass in 2009-10 under the guise of ‘education for all’ & ‘social justice’, and without a murmur of dissent from then Advani-Jaitley-Sushma led BJP.

The enabling law for this Act was the 93rd Constitutional Amendment rammed through by UPA-1 in 2005 to overrule a Supreme Court judgement that had placed Hindu-run educational institutions on the same level as minority-run institutions as far as freedom from undue government interference went.

Since its inception, the bureaucratic nightmare and ‘license-permit-raj’ unleashed by RTE on Hindu educational organisations and entrepreneurs, not to mention the routine corruption associated with all such govt. interventions, has been evident. Back in Feb 2016 itself, National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), an alliance of  low-cost budget private schools (BPS) from across the country, had estimated that 30000 schools had closed or were on the verge of closure due to the Act.

The story is the same, whether it was then BJP-ruled Maharashtra or now Congress-ruled Rajasthan. The RTE Act is silently destroying Hindu capacity in a crucial sector like education – schools are forced to raise fees for general students to cross-subsidise the non-receipt of reimbursement by the state, thereby pushing parents into the arms of the minority-run schools which were strategically kept exempt in the 93rd amendment and RTE.

For reasons best known to it, the Modi Government, which anyway has an under-whelming record in school education reform, has also deemed it too politically incorrect to reform/abolish RTE or consider other alternatives like school vouchers – a form of DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) where government gives vouchers to students’ parents that they can then use at schools of their choice.

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