“Why do States Decide how Much they Pay us”

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By Pragya Gupta, Elets News Network (ENN)

Amol Arora, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Group of SchoolsAmol Arora, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools

On Supreme Court’s verdict on RTE

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Since education is the basic Constitutional right for every child, it will now be exercised and will give equal opportunities for all. However, the unfortunate aspect of RTE’s implications on private schools is that education at such institutions might turn out to be more expensive, which may be beyond the reach for people who can still afford private school education for their children. How can the government pay us only what they spend on the child when private schools spend much more per child – on better infrastructure, better curriculum, better teachers ,invest in teacher training?

Impact of the judgment on Schools

Unfortunately, the Judgment will have a direct impact on the fee structure of private schools. As there is uncertainty for finances, the private schools will have no other alternative, but to increase the fees for the rest 75 percent of students, to make space for the 25 percent of students they are liable to take as per RTE provisions.  It is still unclear about how much grants will the private schools receive from the state government. Private schools are also concerned whether they will get timely reimbursement of the tuition fee from the state government. The RTE implications might prove to be a setback for those who wish to start their own schools, to enter and expand in the field of education.

Psychological impact on the children

Those schools who do not handle social integration will probably see fall out of students. The schools are required to bridge the gap between the have’s and have not’s, to avoid any bias on the grounds of social class. The schools should instill in students a sense of mutual respect and acceptance for each other irrespective of the diversity in the backgrounds. To lessen this psychological impact, the schools are required to handle the situation sensibly.

What are your plans to cover the expense on these 25 percent students? Will it shift this financial burden on those 75 percent by hiking fees?

Since there is no other alternative but to follow the RTE provisions, we are most likely to hike the fees for those 75 percent of students, to accommodate the expenses on the reserved category of 25 percent of students.

Do you have any further expectations from the government?

We would like less disparity in the amounts that the government is providing the private schools. Since we have the same book sets and uniforms across the country, have to pay teachers the sixth pay commission then why do states decide how much they pay us. The government should be encouraging private players to setup quality institutions and create a conducive environment for them rather than stifling the private school sector.

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