We'll adopt govt schools: Private managements

Offer made as an alternative to 25% reservation to poor students under RTE

We'll adopt govt schools: Private managements

That was an alternative suggested by participants at a workshop here on Right to Education (RTE) organised by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The workshop was aimed at discussing a way to amend the Act in such a way that not only upheld the quality but also was agreeable to private schools.  B Gayathri Devi, member of Management Association of ICSE Schools (MAIS), pointed out that there were various components in the Act which needed to be looked into. “We are here to involve ourselves to common cause, which is freedom of private schools. The act excludes Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodayas and Sainik schools. These schools can conduct admission tests and continue doing so, but private unaided schools cannot. So, the act is biased,” she pointed out.

Gayathri Devi also felt that the prospect of all schools across the country having the same curriculum was “scary”. Gram panchayats, Block Education Officers, DDPIs, corporators and local administration were unaware of the nuances of RTE. “They start dictating terms to us and don't know the ground realities," she said.

Free mid-day meals and textbooks would further segregate and exclude the 25 per cent of the students from others. Hence, to gain better clarity and amend certain sections, MAIS has filed a writ petition on all India level, which has moved from a three-judge Bench to a five-judge Bench in the Supreme Court.

Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, anchor, School for Leadership Excellence (SLE), said private schools, instead of fighting the implementation of act, should think ahead and work around it. Bridge course for underprivileged students could run parallel to main course, so that the children could be slowly integrated in the class, she suggested.

Sudha Raju, also part of SLE, said the act did not foresee whether the schools had adequate infrastructure to include physically and mentally challenged children or children with special diseases.

"The act says all children between 1-14 years. But do we have infrastructure and enough teachers?," questioned Sudha. She recommended that the Act should go about in inclusion in phases and provide incentives to teachers in rural areas.

Ganesh Iyer Rajagopal from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) said the act should include 1-14 age group, as a child's formative years started from one year of age. He also revealed that NAAC was looking at creating quality assessment system apart from examinations to see how much a student has been able to grasp. This could then be replicated in schools.

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