Taking a strong stand against the RTE provision reserving 25 per cent of admissions for children from the neighbourhood, the schools now try to garner support from parents saying admitting such children could dilute the discipline and finesse with which privileged kids are being groomed.
In a circular to parents, the schools said: “Once this Act is enforced, a child could beat up your child, smoke on the campus, misbehave with a girl or a teacher and the school will have to watch helplessly.”
Schools have asked parents to give suggestions on the Act and how they feel its provisions would affect their children.
“Parents need to know with whom their children will be studying in future. Incidents mentioned in the circular about misbehaviour of the students have occurred in the past. But after the Act is in place, even if such incidents occur, we will not be in a position to take any action,” Akash Ryall, principal of Bethany High School, said.
Mohan Manghnani, president of ICSE schools in Karnataka and chairman of New Horizon Educational Institution, justified the stand of the schools, saying, “Free and compulsory education is a very good initiative from the government but not at the cost of children studying in private schools.”
But some parents, who have been given the circulars, aren’t very impressed. “The government is trying to take a noble step and requesting private schools to co-operate. Schools should not make such generalised statements when my child gets robbed inside the classroom even without 25 per cent reservation,” S Gururaj, whose kid is a student of Bethany High School, says.
The State government has taken the issuance of circulars seriously, saying such acts by schools could invite legal action. “It is ridiculous. How can you generalise such incidences?” Ashwathnarayana Gowda, Block Education Officer, asked. According to officials of the Teachers and Officers of Department of Education, the online Draft Act has received 19 objections from students, parents and educational institutions so far.
More objections to the Act are expected at an upcoming workshop in August. “The State government cannot change the Act; we can only ask for objections and suggestions,” R G Nadadur, principal secretary of primary and secondary education, said.
DH News Service