Schools compelled to flout RTE rules, collects fees from students
Dimapur, Feb. 22 (EMN): Admission fees amounting to INR 30.03 lakh were collected from students in 58 government schools (out of 90 sample schools), revealed the examination of records. The head teachers or teachers-in-charge of schools stated that the govt. schools did not receive the school grant, maintenance grant and teachers’ grant for three years (2013-2016) and therefore they were compelled to collect fees for smooth functioning and maintenance.
This was stated in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) (2020-21) report, copies of which were presented to the House during the 13th NLA sessions. The PAC (2020-2021) is the 124th report of the committee on public accounts (2020-21) on the examination of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year 2015-16 on the state finances audit report and audit reports on the social, economic, revenue and general sector, which was adopted by the committee on December 16, 2020.
SMD and SSA, while accepting the facts, stated that on October 2016 the school grants, maintenance grants and the teacher’s grant were either not approved or not released due to fund constraints.
In an audit query, the department when asked about how the department could collect fees from the children in contravention of the RTE rules 2010 and what measures are taken to ensure that no fees are collected from the children, the department through a written reply stated that some schools were collecting fees from students perhaps due unavailability of grants to the schools and lack of funds with SSA.
Further, the department stated that from 2016-17, funds under school grants had been released to all the schools and no such fees were collected in contravention to the RTE Act.
During the oral evidence, the department stated that the schools did not receive any grants during the year 2013-2016 and it was observed that INR 30.03 lakh was collected from the children in 58 government schools, which is in violation of section 3(2) of RTE Act.
The committee in its recommendation has asked the department to submit detailed report for the non-release of school grants during 2013-2016. Further, the committee recommend that the latest report on the trend of released grants be furnished to the committee within two months from the date of presentation of the report to the House.