Many parents accused private schools in Coimbatore of charging additional fees for their children admitted under the Right to Education (RTE) Act quota within two weeks of schools reopening. “Private schools shall admit in Class 1, to the extent of at least twenty five percent of the strength of that class, children belonging to the weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighborhood & provide free and compulsory elementary education till its completion” as mentioned in the Section 12 (1) (c) of the RTE Act, private schools.
But most of the parents have accused the schools of demanding additional fees for books, uniforms as well as under miscellaneous categories.
The Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association, President, R Visalakshi said that the government reimbursed only the term fees & the schools had to collect fees from the parents for books, uniforms and for conducting extra-curricular activities. She also said that under the RTE Act the reimbursement made for the academic year 2018-19 had not reached the schools yet and the amount for 2017-18 had not been completely refunded.
An education activist & secretary, the State youth wing of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, V Eswaran said that even after a decade of the law coming into force the procedures for admissions under RTE Act remained unclear.
He said that the law has not truly benefited the poor children as the seats were filled with children whose parents were relatively well off. He said under the Act, only for the ‘weaker section’ category, the income must be less than ₹ 2 lakh for a year and the ‘disadvantaged’ category did not require any income certificate.