Nagpur: Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association has decided to organize a protest rally in Mumbai next month to express its displeasure over the release of less than Rs 50 crore as Right To Education reimbursement by the state government. However, the claimed amount is also around Rs 1,800 crore.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act also provides for providing free education to students falling under specified categories and schools will have to reserve about 25% of their seats for the same. Because of this, while education is free for students, the government reimburses schools for it.
Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association president Sanjay Tayde-Patil said, “In 2017, they paid us half of the dues, after which it kept accumulating. At present, the amount we have asked for is around Rs 1,800 crore. We were told that Rs 200 crore would be disbursed in the first phase.
He has also said that the decision of the Education Department to fix the final disbursement figures at such a low level was completely unexpected. “They are also going to release just around Rs 48 crore in the first phase. Still around 3% of the dues are being cleared in the first phase itself, so just imagine how many steps would be required to clear everything.” Tayde-Patil said.
MLC elections are expected to be held in February
The president of Mesta further said, “It was the earlier protest and aggressive stance that led to the release of at least this small amount. Now, we need to continue this fight for our rights to ensure that schools get their reimbursement in the future.”
He has also alleged that money for Right to Education reimbursement is being diverted for some other things. “The Center sends the money and it goes to the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). But instead of fully ensuring payment for schools, they use it for other educational projects.” Tayde-Patil said.
Another school trustee from Nagpur has also pointed out that it is very important for Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association to field a candidate for the MLC (Teachers Constituency) elections. “Unless we have at all political representatives who will fight for our cause, nothing can happen at all. We also need to make sure that we either have our own candidate or we openly support another candidate.” The school trustee said.
The MLC elections are expected to be held in February and sources say that Mesta is trying to find a way to enter the political fray, directly or indirectly.