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Students enrolled under RTE in dilemma

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

The fate of 1.5 lakh students, who were enrolled in private institutions under Right To Education (RTE) Act since 2011, are running in dilemma because union government has not released budget on this head. Earlier state used to bear its expense but now state has expressed inability to bear this burden because it has accumulated upto Rs 100 crore in last two year

These dues have to be paid by state government to the private institutions for admitting EWS students to primary classes under the RTE Act. As per the Act, it is mandatory for all the private schools, excluding un-aided minority schools, to reserve 25 per cent seats for students of economically weaker sections (EWS). In which the Centre makes 65 per cent contribution while state to contribute 35 percent.

In 2015-2016, the Union government had contributed 90 per cent and the state mere 10 per cent as per the 90:10 ratios. Since 2016-17 union government has has not released its share of funds.

Talking to dainiknation.com state education minister Arvind Pandey said that we have been bearing the expenses, but now it has become unbearable. We have written few letter to the union government to address this issue on priority basis but yet to see any progress on it.

An official said that around Rs 120 crore was required under this head to pay the dues and ensure fresh admission too. The state government selects students and allots them private schools, where they are granted free admission. It then reimburses the private schools at a fixed rate.

According to the Department of School Education figures, the Centre paid Rs 39.80 crore against the total expenditure of Rs 49.55 crore for the academic session 2015-16. The state government spent Rs 81.89 crore on providing education to children from underprivileged sections during the academic session of 2016-17. The Central government did not provide funds during 2016-17 and 2017-2018. The cumulative dues now stand at Rs 91.64 crore. So far, around 1.07 students have been given admission since the process started in 2011.

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