Chandigarh, September 27
A wrong bank entry of scholarship amount into the accounts of around 24,000 school students has left a large number of teachers in trouble as they have been told to recover the excess amount from students.
The issue pertains to the academic session 2022-23, when following the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) guidelines, Punjab’s Education Department had mistakenly transferred an excess amount over Rs 3 crore of pre-matric scholarship for SC into the accounts of around 24,000 students.
As per a letter issued to all school heads by the office of the Director General, School Education, the department was required to transfer Rs 1,400 into the account of each student but Rs 2,800 was transferred into the accounts of 23,001 students and Rs 4,200 was made into the accounts of 674 students.
Now calling it a ‘technical glitch’, the department has asked all school heads and District Education Officers to ensure that the excess amount is recovered by October 20 and deposit into the account of the department.
However, the situation is far more complicated than being seen by department officials. As per teachers, since the scholarship was meant mainly for the students of Class IX and X, a number of students have passed their matriculation exams and joined other schools. Now, it will be difficult to recover money from them, said Vikram Dev Singh, state president, Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjab.
“The department is trying to escape the responsibility by terming it a technical glitch,” he said.
Condemning the orders, the DTF leader said the department and the education board mindlessly took some decisions and they impose penalties on teachers if they fail to perform. Now it was a serious lapse but the department was trying to save its skin by calling it a technical glitch. The leader said the school heads started making efforts for the recovery from today but it was almost impossible to recover full amount. If unnecessary pressure was created by the department, it would be opposed by the front.
Gurjot Singh, assistant director (scholarships), said it was because of the department’s internal check mechanism that the lapse could be found.
Vinay Bublani, Punjab’s Director General, School Education, said they were doing inquiry so that no such lapse happen in future.
Staff given Oct 20 deadline
- Education department transferred excess amount under Pre-Matric Scholarship scheme
- The department was required to transfer Rs 1,400 into the account of each student
- Rs 2,800 was transferred into the accounts of 23,001 students and Rs 4,200 of 674 students
- The dept has asked District Education Officers and school heads to recover it by October 20
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