Minister defends remark, but says not all schools are bad

Minister defends remark, but says not all schools are bad

Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya on Wednesday defended his controversial statement equating private school managements with those running brothels.

He said some poor parents had complained to him saying that certain private schools were demanding money to give admission to their children under the Right to Education (RTE) quota. But all private institutions are not bad.

“Some private institutions, especially those being run by religious institutions, are providing good service to society by imparting free education. But there are a few schools that are fleecing the poor. I made the statement out of anguish, but I don't intend to hurt anybody,” he told reporters.

Interestingly, the minister’s family members run two private educational institutions in Davangere. He said at the function that private institutions were commercialising education. “They show least respect to rules and humanitarian issues. They are reluctantly giving 25% seats to the poor after the enactment of the RTE Act. Their behaviour is worse than those who run brothels,” he stated.

In a clarification statement released to the media, the minister said a large section of people, especially the poor and the oppressed classes, have been deprived of quality education. Hence, the previous UPA government brought in the RTE Act. But the Act is not being implemented effectively.

“I have raised objections against only those who want to amass wealth in the name of education. My criticism is not aimed at those who are running educational institutions as a social service,” he added.

On seeking his reaction to the minister's statement, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters that it was not proper on Anjaneya's part to speak like that.