Schools devise 'innovative' ways to ill-treat RTE students

Complaints of discriminatory practices flood the task force

Schools devise 'innovative' ways to ill-treat RTE students

The recently formed Right to Education (RTE) task force has received a barrage of complaints related to discriminatory practices by schools in the State.

The task force was formed by the Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO) to redress grievances of parents and children admitted under RTE Act.

The letters and calls received from parents and students so far have been an eye-opener for the task force, which also comprises parents whose children are admitted under RTE quota.

The parents of a child admitted under the quota to a school in Hebbal have stated that the school has three different types of uniforms for a week. The school refused to accept the uniform stitched out of cotton cloth brought by the parents and insisted that the uniforms had to be of tericot fabric, a blend of terylene and cotton.

In Yelahanka, parents of children admitted under the quota were not allowed to attend a parent association meeting if they brought their mobile phones into the hall.

“If you want them, then stay out of our meeting altogether,” the school authorities cautioned.

In Lingarajpuram, a private school told the parents of a child admitted to class 1, that he should study in LKG, as he was not capable of cursive writing or reciting stories in English. A member of the task force said that none of the schools had bridge course to close the gap in education.

English language has turned out to be a bane for several of the children admitted under RTE quota, as a few parents have approached the task force seeking counselling for their children.

Convener of KCRO, Nagasimha Rao told Deccan Herald that parents were particularly concerned about the difficulties they faced with all activities related to English language.
“The children do not have knowledge of English like the other kids. They have to contend with homework and the parents are illiterate. They cannot afford private tuitions and as a result, these children are subdued,” Rao said.

Some schools have filled up the quota by giving admissions to the children of the ayahs or other workers in the school and turning away the others.

Vasudevachar, a teacher, has been fighting for the last three months to get an admission for his child to a school in Gavipuram.

The child is enrolled as a regular student at present in the same school, but though the girl is eligible for a seat under RTE, the school is in no mood to relent.

“They gave me a variety of reasons, including the fact that my house is situated 1.3 km from the school and therefore my child cannot be admitted. Then they told me to get letters from nearby schools stating that my daughter could not be admitted. Even the block education officer told me to give up as the school would not agree, but I want to fight. It’s a Supreme Court ruling and every citizen is bound by it,” he maintained.

On the flip side, Nagasimha says that some of the parents are even willing to waste a year to get their children enrolled in a school of their choice.

“Parents cannot compromise their wards’ future like this. Children will end up losing a year needlessly,” he said.

All these complaints have been forwarded to the Department of Education and the Child Rights Commission. Parents and children can contact Nagasimha Rao of the task force on 98804-77198.

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