In the latest in the ongoing war over the Right to Education (RTE) Act between private schools and the government, the Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (Mesta), a body of English medium schools in the state, has sent a legal notice to the state government on Monday for having failed to pay fees for the past three years.
MESTA has alleged that the state has failed to pay them roughly Rs 100 crore for the education of underprivileged kids mandated in the RTE Act. As a result, schools say that they have been facing difficulties in their daily functioning due to a financial crunch. Schools have now sought a response from the government within seven days, failing which they have threatened to move court.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which allows free and compulsory education for children in the age group of 6-14 years, keeps 25 per cent seats in all private schools reserved for children coming from an underprivileged background. These kids are given free education with the government paying for it.
But, for the past three years, no school has received the promised reimbursement. Private schools, as a result, are finding it difficult to run due to the financial crunch. The legal notice has been sent to the Chief minister, Education minister, Chief secretary, Education secretary, Education commissioner and Director of Primary Education.
The government has decided to reimburse the fixed amount of Rs 14,000 per student per year. Each school has admitted around 50-100 students under RTE. But, none has got any reimbursement for three years, thereby creating a major financial crunch. Roughly calculated, the government owes around Rs 100 crore to all schools across the state.