Monday, April 22, 2013

School gets notice for flouting RTE Act

S V Union Primary School claims complaint and School Board investigation were politically motivated; say they will move court
Tanaji Khot
Posted On Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at 08:58:14 AM

SV Union Junior College
The Zilla Parishad (ZP) has issued a notice to an English-medium primary school run by Saraswati Vidyalaya Union (S V Union) in Somwar Peth. The school was accused of flouting the Right to Education Act, 2009. In response, the school claimed since it is a primary, unaided, minority school it does not fall under the ambit of the RTE.

The ZP issued a notice to the school and asked for the management to clear their stand over issues raised after an inspection conducted by Shivaji Bhokare, deputy education officer.

The inspection revealed the school had collected money from 45 SC and ST students, who were admitted free under the 25 per cent RTE quota, under heads such as Caution Money, Tuition Fees, Term Fees and uniforms.

Bank challans and Caution Money receipts were verified by Bhokare. In lists submitted to the School Board on 17 July, 2012, the headmistress of the school stated that the 45 students had been given free admission under RTE quota.

The report also claims there was no transparency for 75 per cent of admissions in 2012-13, while the admission process for 2013-14 was underway. As per the RTE Act, the management distributed admission forms to parents for 25 per cent free seats on January 16, 2013, which they have not completed yet.

The school blamed elements with vested interests for complaining and felt the inspection carried out was prejudiced and under political pressure. They stated the RTE Act was not applicable to its primary school as it was a linguistic minority (Tamil). Bhokare said, “We only inspect schools we have complaints against.

A complaint was made and we conducted an investigation based on this.” Avinash Bagwe, a Congress corporator, Ramesh Iyer, general secretary of the Pune City Congress Comittee and advocate Nilesh Borate made the complaint. “We issued forms to get a list of the SC and ST students as ZP claimed it was to collect data to give us benefits of Sarva Shikshan Abhiyan.

We were given a format to follow, due to which admissions done between June 15 and 18, 2012, were registered as being done in 2013 under pressure of the School Board. The actual dates are available with the school,” J Nagrajan secretary, S V Union claimed.”

Dinesh Pandey, principal, S V Union High School, said, “We have cleared our stand with the authorities. If they are not satisfied, our management will decide further action. They opined that we can move court for justice.”

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