Auto drivers allege bias in RTE admissions

The Autorickshaw Driver’s Union protested before the officer of Block Education Officer in Rajajinagar, on Monday, alleging irregularities in admission process under the Right to Education Act reservation provision.

The members alleged that the government officials were hand in glove with private school managements and biased in seat allotment.

“Parents were not called when the schools drew the lottery for enrolling students,” said Union Secretary M Venkatesh Gowda. As per rules, schools are obliged to draw the lottery for selecting students in presence of parents.

The lottery system will be adopted by schools only if they have received more number of applications than the number of seats available. Gowda said the system of announcing everything on the internet was also not helping people. The reservation provision is meant for the underprivileged section that has no access to internet and in a few cases to television too.

The method adopted by the department to announce all decisions online is leaving the beneficiaries out of communication, he added. “If we question the officials about not keeping us in the loop about admissions, they shrug it off saying it was already published online.”

The union members also complained that several schools were asking for donations to admit children under the provision. “One school, where I had applied, asked for Rs 27,000 to enrol my child. On one hand, they are taking government funds of Rs 11,848 per child for ‘free’ admission and on the other, they are fleecing parents,” said Dayanand, a parent who was part of the protest.

Block Education Officer M Gopal Krishna, North Zone I where the protest took place, rubbished the allegations. He said there was no scope for irregularities in the procedure this time. “Out of several applications, only a few have secured seats. This makes the parents suspect a scandal.” He added that he would personally file a complaint against any school that denied admissions to those eligible.

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