Saturday, March 23, 2013

RTE quota: all still in a state of limbo

RTE quota: all still in a state of limbo

Bangalore Bureau
A girl, who clearly did not have the right to an education, carries her employer’s daughter’s schoolbag.File Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu A girl, who clearly did not have the right to an education, carries her employer’s daughter’s schoolbag.File Photo: K.R. Deepak
Schools in Bangalore appeared to be in no hurry to meet the June 5 deadline for displaying the list of socially and economically backward students who have been accepted to fill the 25 per cent seats reserved for them as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act in their schools.
Meanwhile, considering the high concentration of private schools in Bangalore, education officials here have been given an additional five days to verify and process the applications. What seems to be complicating matters is that the flow of applications is uneven, with some schools attracting a high degree of preference while others have no takers, an official said.

‘No applications'

“It's not that we don't want to admit children. It's just that we have not received any such applications,” said an official from Evershine High School, Kamanahalli. Another school from Mahalaxmi Layout had a similar story to tell. “We had no takers for the applications we handed out,” said school officials.
The principal of Gem English High School, Banaswadi said: “Nobody has approached us to fill these seats,” adding that the school would not be campaigning to increase awareness about the applications being available. Another principal said they had not received any application though the information was displayed on the notice board.
Mansoor Khan, Member, Board of Management, Delhi Public School Group, said they had received only one application for Class 4 (which is not the entry level and therefore does not fall under the quota rule). He added they have not received any communication or list from the Education Department authorities either.
The headmistress of a school near Richmond Circle stated that she was informed about the RTE Act only two days ago.
Taken aback on being asked about the list to be displayed on June 5, she said: “I contacted the school management only yesterday. Obviously, it will take longer for us to display this list.”
The headmistress of Max Muller Public School too said she was awaiting the management's go-ahead. “We can comment on this only after June 15.”

‘We are waiting'

There are some schools that have admitted socially and economically backward students but even they don't seem completely informed about the Act and the deadlines it has set for schools. Christ King School in Subbayyana Palya has admitted one student under this framework and is awaiting more applications. “We expect more students to ask for the applications in the next two or three days,” said principal Govindaswamy.
The principal of a school in Kamanahalli said one student had been accepted into Class 1 and added that with this, she had “done her job”.
The principal of SJR Primary and High School in Rajajinagar said they had accepted two students from deprived background as mandated by the Act, adding most of the students in the school were from economically and socially weaker sections anyway.

‘Lack of space'

The principal of Presidency School, Nandini Layout, said that she already had eight or 10 students falling under this category studying in the school. “It's not that we don't want to admit students under the RTE. It is purely because of lack of space that we're not being able to.”

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