New Delhi: Several months into the new academic session, a substantial number of students have yet to receive uniform subsidies despite having functional bank accounts.
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, students of government schools are authorised to receive free stationary, books and uniforms up to Class 8. Under the Act, the Delhi government distributes books to students and transfers subsidies for other essentials directly into their bank accounts once a year.
However, things do not seem as rosy as they appear on paper.
“My daughter Muskan studies in a government school in Noor Nagar, New Delhi. Her account has been functional since 2015 but we got money only once in these five years in spite of providing complete documents to the teachers,” said Rubina, whose daughter is in Class 6.
Some parents said that the government only very recently transferred the money to their child’s three-year-old bank account.
Aamina, mother of a class V student at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, an all boys’ senior secondary school in Tughlaqabad extension, said, “We received Rs 1,000 as a subsidy during the last Ramadan, but our ward’s account has been functional for the past three years.”
In August, Hindustan Times had reported that as many as 93,302 students in Delhi government schools had yet to receive subsidy for uniforms as their bank accounts are “non functional”, a fact that the directorate of the education (DOE) has also attested to.
However, teachers have a different story to tell. Sheeba Siddiqui, a primary school teacher of Okhla government school said that no such issues exist. “The money is being transferred on time to every ward’s account, and we have also documented the details of these students,” she said.
Parents, on the other hand, have said that such claims are false. Some have even had to discontinue their child’s education.
Radhika, whose daughter Priya has been forced to drop out of Class 5, said, “I was forced to stop my child from going to school in the middle of the session due to the lack of money in our family.”
Officials have been blaming the parents as well as the banks for causing the delay.
The dynamic details enhancer officer at the DOE, Tapeshwar, said, “The problems that occur while transferring the money are usually from the parents’ end. Some of them fill up wrong account numbers while some of the students are enrolled in more than one school which becomes a barrier in the way of transferring the subsidy.”
The other official at the DoE who manages the accounts spoke about hurdles caused by banks. He said that the subsidy money doesn’t reach the student because the respective banks delay transferring the money.
Verda Subzwari is a postgraduate student in Convergent Journalism at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi
Featured image credit: Reuters