Saturday, March 30, 2013

State wants to know if schools are manipulating RTE admission numbers

Education Dept suspects schools trying to pass off SC/ST students as those admitted under the Act
Pooja Naik

Posted On Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 04:11:14 AM

The education department will soon start verifying documents pertaining to all students, who have been admitted to various schools in the city under the Right to Education Act. The department suspects that some schools are trying to pass off scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students as those being admitted under the RTE.

As per information received by education officers of the civic body, so far this year, 100 students have taken admission under the RTE in Mumbai. Currently, the government is conducting a survey to gather information for smooth implementation of RTE from next academic year.

“We have not ruled out the fact that certain schools might have manipulated data. A thorough inspection of documents pertaining to admissions under RTE will be carried out. We will be checking whether the schools followed the process as prescribed in the Act,” said Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan director, Sanjay Deshmukh.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is the flagship programme for achievement of universalisation of elementary education in a time bound manner, and implementation of RTE in the state.

Under the RTE, all private unaided schools, except minority institutions, have been instructed to reserve 25 per cent seats at the entry level for students whose family’s annual income is less than Rs 1 lakh.

The government will pay the schools nearly Rs 10,000 per year for each child admitted under the Act.

Educationists and NGOs working in the field of education too had cast similar aspersions on the process of admission under RTE. They say some SC/ST families earn more than Rs 5 lakh a year. It would be unfair to show them as poor students and link their admission to RTE, they say.

Jayant Jain, president of Forum for Fairness in Education, a non-profit organisation which fights against commercialisation of and corruption in education, said, “By linking SC/ST students to RTE, the schools can also claim money from the government.”

Jain said that it was therefore essential that the government scrutinised all documents related to admission of students under the Act.

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