TP members allege violation of RTE Act in schools in Mangalore

TP members allege violation of RTE Act in schools in Mangalore

The department promises to take action against erring institutions

TP members allege violation of RTE Act in schools in Mangalore

The issue of violation of Right to Education Act by some of the unaided schools in the taluk rocked the Taluk Panchayat general body meeting held at TP hall here on Saturday.

The TP members alleged that there were complaints against some of the schools of collecting fee from the children who are admitted on 25 per cent reservation granted under the Right and Free and Compulsory Education Act.

In the first general body meeting held post election, TP member Prakash said that there are examples of schools collecting fee from beneficiary students by claiming that they will return the amount after the government reimburses the fee amount to the school.

Reacting to the issue, Mangalore South Block Education Officer Sudhakar said that according to the RTE, the schools must not collect fee from the beneficiary students and the fee amount of Rs 11,000 per student will be reimbursed by the government. “So far, we have not received any complaints from the parents against schools of collecting fee. The department will take strict action against those schools which collect fee or deny admission to students,” he said.

Reality check

TP President K Harish directed the BEOs of Mangalore South, Mangalore North and Moodbidri blocks to randomly visit the schools and carry out a reality check. The education department should identify and meet the beneficiary students who have stayed away from private schools despite getting an admission under the RTE, and seek the reason for it, he suggested.

TP members also expressed dissatisfaction over the poor implementation of RTE in the panchayat limits.

Of the 1,361 total available seats under the RTE, only 510 seats have been filled during the academic year 2013 - 14. Moodbidri block has got only 92 admissions as against 572 available seats.

In response, the BEOs promised of creating awareness about RTE in rural areas from this academic year itself, so as to draw more number of students from next year.

Aadhaar for scholarships

Zilla Panchayat member Satish Kumpala said that the Central government’s mandatory rule     for students availing scholarships to mention their Aadhaar card number in the scholarship applications, has put the students in trouble.

With majority of the children not possessing Aadhaar card, they are now forced to opt out of scholarships.

Even in case if they apply for Aadhaar now, it will take more than three months for them to get the Unique Identification number, he pointed out.

Backward Class Welfare Department Officer Ram Kumar too agreed that the new mandate has made the children deprive of scholarships. “It has become mandatory for students to mention their bank account details, IFSC number and Aadhaar number in the applications of the scholarships sponsored by the Central government. The government will directly deposit the scholarship amount to the students bank account from this year onwards. Perhaps, the panchayats must make a resolution and pass it on to the government requesting to cancel the mandate this year,” he suggested.