Monday, March 25, 2013

Kusma-government slugfest continues

Kusma-government slugfest continues

Bangalore, Jun 29, 2012, DHNS :
The stalemate between the government and Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (Kusma) over the implementation of the RTE Act does not seem to end though Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Friday urged Kusma to end the stalemate by holding discussion with the government.

The minister said the Kusma members refused to meet him when he invited them for a discussion on their threat to close schools from July 16 to 22. “They should not resort to closure of schools as it will inconvenience thousands of students.

If they have problems with the Act, let them discuss it with the government or go to court,” he said.

On June 24, Kusma had announced that it would close all of its schools for a week from July 16 to 22 as government failed to heed to its demands.

Its main demand was to bring even minority schools under the RTE. However, Kusma president G S Sharma said that the department had ignored all of Kusma’s demands to hold a meeting. As many as 1,075 schools have not implemented the Act, he said.

“Ever since the Supreme Court’s judgment on minority schools under RTE, we have been demanding the government to hear us. We have received no such communication from the department or the minister’s office. If the government refuses to hold discussions, the stalemate will continue, as both the government and the public have remained stubborn,” he said.

Sharma said that he had written to the principal secretary, secretary and others in the department, asking them to give Kusma an audience.

Not planned well

“The officials think that they are more powerful. Unfortunately, what the government fails to admit is that the implementation of the Act has not been planned well.

It has neither estimated the population of students who will come under the Act, nor has it bothered to create a separate department,” he said. Kusma is also preparing to move Supreme Court against the judgment.

Kageri said that the Centre had released Rs 2,000 crore to the State under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). He said the government had demanded Rs 3,000 crore to implement the various programmes under SSA.

41 per cent increase

“Though our demand has not been met, we are happy that there has been an increase of 41 per cent in the funds sanctioned,” he said.

The minister also said that Karnataka had submitted his recommendations to the committee headed by D Purandeswari, Minister of State for HRD, on university reforms.

Kageri said that he and Bihar’s education minister too were members of the committee and that issues pertaining to academics, infrastructure, quality and leadership improvement had been the focus.

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