Govt schools priority, says new RTE rule

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment to the RTE rules, with which these children can avail RTE reservation in a private school only if there is no government school located in their neighbourhood. (DH File Photo for representation)

Henceforth, the state government will not pay for children admitted to unaided private schools under the Right to Education (RTE) quota in case a government school is located in their neighbourhood.

The RTE Act reserves 25% seats in Class 1 or kindergarten for children from socially and economically weaker sections of society.

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment to the RTE rules, with which these children can avail RTE reservation in a private school only if there is no government school located in their neighbourhood.

The government pays private schools Rs 16,000 for every child admitted to Class 1 and Rs 8,000 for kindergarten under the RTE quota. Since 2012, over four lakh children have been admitted in private schools under the RTE. 

The amendment is in line with the concept of the “neighbourhood schools” concept under the RTE Act, according to Law Minister Krishna Byre Gowda. According to the “neighbourhood schools” concept, children can apply for RTE seats in schools located within their residential wards.

“In the past, admissions under the RTE quota have been allowed in private schools even when there was a government school in the neighbourhood. This wasn’t the original intention of the RTE Act. Now, RTE admissions will be permitted in private schools only if there are no government schools nearby,” Gowda told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The amendment will also address the concern that RTE had led to a decrease in enrolment at government schools as children were moving to private schools, Gowda said.

The Associated Managements of English Medium Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) welcomed the amendment. Private schools had been demanding that the government ensure admissions in government schools first.

No tuition fee for girls

Girls studying in government pre-university, degree and postgraduate colleges will not have to pay tuition fee this year. “This will cover 1.74 lakh girls in degree and postgraduate courses and 1.33 lakh girls in pre-university colleges,” Gowda said.

This was a budget promise made by then chief minister Siddaramaiah in his February 2018 budget. “The government will bear the cost of tuition fee of all girls in government colleges, which will come up to Rs 95 crore,” Gowda said. 

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Govt schools priority, says new RTE rule

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