The education department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has received over 250 complaints against several schools for allegedly refusing admissions to children from poor families.
PCMC administration officer (education) Jyotisna Shinde on Sunday told The Indian Express they have been receiving complaints from parents that schools are refusing to give admission to their wards under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. “It is mandatory for schools to give free admission to children whose annual family income is less than Rs one lakh. However, some schools are refusing to give admission to children from poor families,” she said.
Shinde said the schools are complaining that the state government, which is supposed to reimburse the fees of such children, has not made any payments so far. “The school managements contend that they have not received the reimbursement from the state government and, therefore, are finding it difficult to run their institutes,” she said.
“We have issued notices to 15-20 schools against whom complaints have been received. We have two verification committees. We have sent all the parents who have complained to these committees, which will force the schools to give admission to their children provided their documents are in order,” Shinde said.
English Schools Association president Rajendra Singh said several school managements are finding it difficult to operate without any financial assistance from the government.
“Schools are refusing to admit children for free because the government refuses to reimburse their amount which is in lakhs. I also run a school in Bhosari area. I have to receive over Rs 100 crore from the government. We have so far given admission to more than 500 poor children yet the government has refused to reimburse the fees,” he said.
Domnic Lobo, whose family ran the National English School, Sangvi, said,”I have to close down my school as the government refused to compensate my schools. The amount was over 15 lakhs. It was difficult to run the school and, therefore, three years back we had to close it down. Children from Sangvi are now suffering as they have to go a long distance to attend a school,” he said.