Monday, March 11, 2013

Where is RTE poor in Ahmedabad schools?

Where is RTE poor in Ahmedabad schools?

Published: Monday, Sep 17, 2012, 15:52 IST | Updated: Monday, Sep 17, 2012, 15:53 IST
By Ashwini Ramesh | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

The ambitious initiative of the Union government to revolutionise the education system through the Right to Education (RTE) Act seems to be a pipe dream as schools in city have found loopholes in the act to avoid inductingchildren from economically weaker section (EWS).
While many schools claim that there is lack of awareness about RTE among the EWS, others blame it on the government for not providing information to the deserving people.
“There is no awareness among people about the act (RTE). The government should make even the act of providing information about the act official,” said Manan Choksi, managing director, Udgam School.
Citing the provisions, HB Kapadia School which is a minority institution said that it is exempted from the act. The RTE says that schools registered as minority institutions don’t fall within the purview of the act.
“Since our school is registered as a minority institution, the RTE is not applicable to us,” was the reply of Muktak Kapadia, trustee of HB Kapadia School.
However, some schools have a different story to tell. Schools claim that they are open to admissions for poor students, but haven’t received any applications.
“We are open to take students under RTE but have not received any application so far. The government has not clarified anything about the funding of RTE students,” said Jayshree Joshi, principal of Satwa Vikas School.
Another city school CN Vidyalaya, which has recently introduced English medium also cites similar reasons behind its inability to induct children from the weaker sections. Lack of awareness is not the only hindrance.
Raising doubts about how EWS students will gel with regular students, principal of Anand Niketan school, Nashy Chauhan, said, “It will be difficult for EWS students to cope with the regular ones when they join in class 1 as the regular students would have got a different exposure in kindergarten.”
In addition, residential schools are also exempted from RTE purview. “Satwa Vikas comes partly under residential school. So, we are not under obligation to take students under RTE,” said an official of Satwa Vikas School.
Meanwhile, Kendriya Vidyalaya where RTE has been implemented doesn’t have a school monitoring committee (SMC) to monitor the process of act’s implementation. It is a violation of RTE norms whereby it is necessary for schools to have SMC which is supposed to report to the state government about the status of RTE.
“The students of EWS in our school buy uniforms, books and other stationeries, they should provide us the bill which the school will later reimburse,” said Rohit Das Kumar, principal of the school.
However, some schools in the city have started taking in students under the act. St Kabir School has been implementing the act for the last three years.“We do not expect any monetary assistance from the government.
The school bears the fee and other requirements of RTE students on its own,” Rashmi Trivedi, principal of St Kabir School said.Another prominent city school, Riverside has also implemented the act since its inception.

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