Published: 02nd October 2020
Over 150 private schools in Delhi move SC demanding reimbursement for providing free education
Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Directorate of Education of Delhi government ensures free education to students of economically weaker sections (EWS)
A trust representing many private schools has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Delhi government to release all outstanding dues to them on account of imparting education to students from the economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups.
Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, also known as RTE, the Directorate of Education of Delhi government ensures free education to students of economically weaker sections (EWS) and disadvantaged groups (DG) even in unaided private schools by reimbursing them the expenses.
Delhi-based Private Land Public Schools Trust filed the petition through lawyer A P Singh in the top court on Thursday on the issue and it is likely to be taken up in coming few days.
"Issue a writ of mandamus against the respondent 2 and 3 (DoE and Delhi government respectively) to release all the payments outstanding towards imparting of education to EWS/DG category students, by the private land unaided schools and in future, pay the same quarterly at the beginning of each quarter, so as to enable the school to manage its precarious finances in a more viable manner," the plea stated.
Singh said the trust represents over 150 private schools of the national capital which are facing difficult times due to delay in payments by the DoE to them for providing education to EWS and DG category students.
The trust, in the petition filed through its General Secretary Chandrakant Singh, has also sought a direction to the Delhi government to release the funds as per the rates "proposed and approved on July 2, 2018, and w.e.f 2017-18 instead of 201819".
The plea said funds disbursed by central government to the Delhi administration for implementation of RTE Act should reach its rightful recipients which are private unaided schools like the petitioner.
It also sought a deposit of fees in advance to make good the financial deficit of such schools and would help them in payment of salaries to staff members amid this global pandemic COVID-19.
"Fixing the liability of the officers delaying payment of EWS reimbursement to private unaided schools along with calculation of interest on such delayed payments, and for making future payments to member schools of petitioner association in timely manner in order to effectuate timely payment to be given to staff members of such schools," the plea said.
Twelve months fees of EWS category students should be paid to all such schools irrespective of the month of admission of such students, it said.
The DoE and the Delhi government have a "solemn duty" under section 12 of the RTE Act, 2009, to reimburse private unaided schools which are providing free and compulsory elementary education, it said.
It has been alleged that there has a delay in reimbursement of fees and other expenses to such schools by the Delhi government.