Tuesday, April 9, 2013

State to act against schools evading RTE: Education secretary

State to act against schools evading RTE: Education secretary

Abhishek Choudhari, TNN Jul 2, 2012, 03.34AM IST

NAGPUR: Government aided minority schools in Nagpur which refused to admit students in the free 25% quota as mandated under the Right To Education (RTE) Act will face action. In a meeting with officials on Saturday in Nagpur, state school education secretary JS Saharia gave instructions to start a crackdown on schools which closed doors on students this academic year.
Institutes like SFS High School, Tata Parsi etc claimed exemption from RTE, saying they come under the 'unaided minority' category. Many minority schools in Nagpur receive government grants from Std V onwards and since RTE admissions start at entry level (Std I for these schools), they refused to accept admissions. While the schools' stand is technically correct, it is only partially so.

An annoyed Saharia said, "The problem is that majority of schools have not read the RTE Act. It clearly mentions that 'schools receiving aid or grants to meet whole or part of its expenses from the appropriate government or local authority' shall come under the ambit of RTE. Since we are funding their expenses in part, these schools just cannot claim exemption."
He added that the RTE has started a 'social revolution' and hence there is upheaval. "There is a school in Maharashtra which charges Rs10 lakh annually and was worried about the RTE regulations. We told them that state will pay them Rs10,000 but the remaining Rs9.9 lakh will have to be borne by them," said Saharia.
In Nagpur, the process for RTE admissions is already over and the final list of candidates will be put up at schools on Monday. The local education office has details only about 20 schools so far. Someshwar Netam, education officer (primary) said, "The total applications received are about 504 and the total intake capacity is about 2,490. We will get the final update by July 5."

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