Monday, March 11, 2013

RTE deadline: Most schools claim ignorance

RTE deadline: Most schools claim ignorance

Rinny Jose, TNN Oct 5, 2012, 07.16AM IST

LUDHIANA: While the last date for submission of Form-1, for the schools regarding compliance of RTE Act for the schools in Punjab is barely a week away, authorities of many schools in the city, are still ignorant of the deadline and face threat of being penalized.
On their part, school principals whom TOI contacted maintained that they had not received any information about the deadline from authorities yet, officials in the Education department claimed that the information has been given on the websites and it was for the schools, to fill up the forms and submit details on their own.

According to district education officer (DEO) Ranjit Singh, till now only 800 schools in entire Ludhiana district have given details in the forms in compliance with the RTE Act. "The deadline mentioned for the submission of the Form-1, is October 11. No forms will be accepted after the last date and the defaulter schools will be made to pay a penalty of rupee 1 lakh.," he said.
District education officer Ranjit Singh identifying defaulting schools, the department will start penalizing them from next session. There are almost 100 private and public schools in the city while about 2,000 in the district. Officials said of the large number of schools have not yet submitted RTE forms, a significant percentage is from Ludhiana.
The Punjab government notified the RTE Act in October 11, 2011 under which all the private and the public schools were required to reserve 25% seats for the economically weaker section students.
TOI conducted a random check in the city schools and found that many authorities were not even aware of the deadline, which was given by the state government for submission of forms.
"We have not received any formal instructions about the implementation of notifications from the state authorities yet. The provisions of Act will be followed by the management, once formalities are known," said Tarranum Fatima, Headmistress of Ramlal Bhasin School, Dugri.
A few other principals who did not wish to come on record too mentioned that they were yet to be apprised of the moralities of the provisions.
Realizing that many schools may fail to submit details, now DEO officials have started reminding schools of the deadline and the provisions.
"It was after receiving a call from the DEO office on Thursday that I came to know about the RTE form-.1. I will make sure that the form is filled up and we follow the clauses mentioned under RTE" said Gurmant Kaur Gill, Principal Guru Nanak International public school, Model Town.

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