HPCC Chief Virbhadra Singh, in a press communiqué alleged that the State BJP Govt. has failed to give the school children of their rightful due of free school uniforms under the Right to Education Act for two years, a scheme funded by the central government. Taking a strong exception to the advertisement by the BJP Government in various newspapers and on TV channels regarding free uniforms to the school children, Virbhadra Singh said that the BJP Government failed to use the Central Assistance of Rs 84 Crores for free uniforms to school children during the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 thus depriving the school children of free uniforms for two years. He said that Dhumal Govt. owed an explanation to the people in this regard and should apologize to the school children and their parents.
PCC President accused the BJP Government for misleading the people of the state by re-naming the entitlement to free uniforms under the Right of Education Act as Atal Free School Uniform Yojna. He said that the Central Right to Education Act, 2009, entitled the school children to free uniforms, free notebooks, text books, stationary, school bags, scholarships and free transportation facilities. Central RTE Rules were notified on April 1, 2010 empowering the State Governments to claim financial assistance for free uniforms and other entitlements specified in the Rules, subject to the notification of State RTE Rules by the States. The BJP Government notified its Rules after a delay of one year on 5th March,2011, thus not only losing central assistance of over Rs 42 crores available during 2010-2011 but also depriving the school children of free uniforms, he said.
Virbhadra Singh said that the school children were also entitled to free school bags under the scheme. It was not too late for the BJP government to consider distributing free school bags to the school children, may be with the picture of Mr. Dhumal himself to remind them, that look, this is the man who deprived you of your free school uniform for two years. Again, Dhumal Govt. did not claim central assistance of Rs 42 for free uniforms during 2011-12 and thus deprived the school children of free uniforms for an another year.
He alleged that as assembly election are approaching Dhumal Government becomes hyper active in implementing free uniform scheme and also makes big splash of advertisements in newspapers and on channels about the free uniforms. He said that Dhumal and his education minister were guilty of cheating the school children of the Pradesh of their right to free uniforms for two years and were morally bound to make good the loss caused to them. Dhumal and his education minister are guilty of cheating the school children of the Pradesh out of their right for free uniforms for two years and causing a loss of 128 crores to the school children.
HPCC President accuse the BJP government for having surrendered over 300 crores of funds meant for education during the three years from 2008 to 2011 including Rs 37 crores meant for capital expenditure for school rooms, toilets in schools, facilities for drinking water and Rs 265 crores of revenue expenditure meant for recruiting teachers and filling up vacancies of teachers in schools etc.
The ratio of capital expenditure to total expenditure came down from 20 percent in 2006-07 to 5 percent in 2010-11 in the Education Sector during BJP rule. Himachal which had occupied a pride of place in the entire country in the National Education Development Index, came down from it 3rdand 4th position in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to 17th and 13thposition during BJP rule. The BJP Government failed to utilize funds available under the centrally sponsored schemes by over 300 crores and is now making bogus and false claims of its achievements in education to the people by telling lies in its advertisements in papers and on TV to woo votes.