RTE rules hit kids' admission hopes

RTE rules hit kids' admission hopes

Friday was the last day for receiving applications for quota seats under the RTE. But many of the applications submitted to  schools were incomplete, as parents seeking admission for their children under the 25 per cent reserv­ation have not been able to furnish the relevant caste and income certificates on time.

Taking this into account, the government has asked schools to send the filled-in applications to the block education officers concerned immediately, while giving time to submit the caste and income certificates by May 30, said Tushar Girinath, Commissioner for Public Instruction.

Meenakshi (name changed) is one such parent who is seeking admission for her children in a reputed school in JP Nagar. A mother of five, she works as an attender in the same school and hopes that the provision under the RTE will help her provide good education to two of her children.

However, it was only recently that she came to know about the requirement for caste and income certificates for admissions and has not been able to provide them on time.

“One parent came back from the tahsildar’s office telling me that she did not have an ID proof. Though she did have the Aadhaar card with her, she did not know she could have produced it as ID proof,” says the principal of this school, requesting anonymity. She said that in many cases where the families have migrated from other states, they do not possess any documents - be it ID, caste or income certificates.

This problem is causing a hitch in the implementation of RTE, as it requires time to get the documents of these students, the principal said. 

Many principals say that in a majority of the cases, the parents are illiterate. Unless the school identifies these children from the neighbourhood on its own and fills in the applications for them, not many are aware of this provision benefiting them.

While this is the case with schools willing to accommodate students under the Act, a large number of other institutions deny awareness about the provision. When Deccan Herald spoke to many ICSE and CBSE schools in the City, a common reply was: “We are not aware of it” or “We cannot comment at present about whether we have received applications or not.”

Various school associations, which have been protesting over the last month and have defied the Act, restrained from commenting on their stand on the issue.
The silver lining is that there are a few schools in the City which are fast filling up seats under the 25 per cent quota. Principal of Raghavendra English School on Magadi Road said they had received applications for all the 12 seats allotted to them. The BEO offices too have received a few applications directly.

The Devanahalli BEO office has received a total of 100 applications. Kempaiah, the block education officer of zone 1, Bangalore South, said 70 applications had been received directly at its office. The BEOs will personally go to schools in their zones to collect the forms and check whether schools have made any progress in this regard.

“I have received acknowledgements for the circular from all the 355 schools in my zone. Schools cannot feign ignorance,” he said.

The BEOs said the exact number of applications would be known in two or three days, after all schools send in their forms.

G Kumar Naik, Secretary, Department of Primary and Secondary Education, said schools treating the provision with hostility would risk losing recognition.

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