Thursday, April 18, 2013

RTE helpline connected well with people: Official

RTE helpline connected well with people: Official

Thursday, Aug 9, 2012, 11:43 IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
The Right to Education (RTE) cell has claimed that the toll-free helpline to answer queries about the Act has been well received by the public.
The Right to Education (RTE) cell has claimed that the toll-free helpline to answer queries about the Act has been well received by the public. The cell, a part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), was initiated by the state government at the beginning of this academic year to ensure a smooth implementation of the Act.
The Act states that 25% of admission at private unaided schools (with the exception of private unaided minority schools) should be given free of cost to children hailing from underprivileged sections of society. However, the Act evoked a lukewarm reception in the state as lots of the free seats, meant for poor students, were not filled.
“When we opened the helpline in May, in the first two days itself we received more than 100 calls per day. Then in the following weeks we averaged about 50,” said Palakshaiah, consultant to RTE, RTE Cell, SSA.
The helpline initially dealt with queries only about the admission process and later it also handled queries regarding the mid-day meals scheme. “So, if parents or students have aproblems with the schools they have enrolled in, the block education officer (BEO) is the person to contact,” he added.
Palakshaiah claimed that though the admission process had come to an end, the helpline was still being used. “Right now we get about five calls every day. It has performed up to the mark as we got calls from all sections of society. We got calls from parents, school managements and even high school children, who wanted to know about this process,” he added.
He also said that the helpline had seen good visibility, as it was displayed in the offices of all the BEOs, deputy directors of public instruction, and other government offices.
With 49,000 students having been admitted through the RTE Act this year, he also said that plans were already under way to make the Act more visible next year. The BEOs and other officers involved with the RTE were being trained to help in the process and information booklets and pamphlets were already being published.
“The process is ongoing, but we have started this from this month,” Palakshaiah added.

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