Private schools indifferent to RTE quota: Survey

Private schools indifferent  to RTE quota: Survey

A survey conducted by Child Rights Trust, Civic and other non-governmental organisations on the enforcement of the Right to Education Act has brought to fore the challenges faced in securing admission under the 25 per cent quota prescribed by the landmark legislation.

The report was released during an interaction organised by the RTE Task Force here on Wednesday.

According to the report, several private schools lack transparency in the admission process. “We were not allowed inside the schools to make enquiries about admissions. One can imagine how parents are treated by such schools,” said G Narasimha Rao, Director of Child Rights Trust.

The child rights activists and parents found that many schools have sought minority status this year all of a sudden to escape from providing reservation for students from economically weaker sections. Minority schools are exempt from the 25 per cent quota under RTE. 

It was also found that designated government officials have not visited the schools to monitor the condition of students admitted under the Act. “Some schools that I visited were not even aware of the provisions of the Act and asked me for directions,” said Sujatha, A, an activist at Radio Active.

“I wanted to enrol my son to class I in June 2012. I submitted the application and I could not even track its status as the Education department refused to part with information. My son did not get the reservation last year,” said Ramesh Verma, a parent. He requested the government to provide reservation for his son in class II this year, since he could not avail the benefit last year on account of the lack of response from the department.

Darshan, a class VIII student at a government school in the City spoke of the poor quality of midday meal school served in his school.

“Rotten vegetables are used to cook food and we some times get pebbles in rice,” Darshan said. He sought the authorities to introduce computer training from lower classes in government schools so that they can be on a par with their peers from private schools.

The helpline number given by the department functions between 10 am and 5 pm and even during that time it is difficult to reach the officials, complained several parents. Apart from this, activists said schools were yet to acquaint themselves with the documents required for admissions. Many schools are still insisting on birth certificate which is not mandatory, they said. A parent pointed out that several students were denied of the admission under RTE quota due to official apathy last year.

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