Monday, April 22, 2013

Unaided schools accuse BMC of harrasing them over RTE norms

Unaided schools accuse BMC of harrasing them over RTE norms

Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 03, 2013
First Published: 01:25 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(3/4/2013)

After many non-SSC schools, recently, received a circular from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking them to follow admission norms under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the institutions have complained that they are being illegally targeted by municipal education officers.
The schools, which do not receive aid from the government, are exempted from the RTE Act 2009. But on March 21, the institutions, both unaided minority and non-SSC schools, were shocked to receive a circular issued by BMC education inspectors stating that they will have to admit 25% students from economically weaker families and disadvantaged groups.
The schools have complained to the Unaided Schools Forum that represents 200 institutions from the city. After the complaints, Subhash Chandra  Kedia, secretary of the Unaided Schools Forum has written to the education authorities complaining about the harassment from BMC officers.
In 2000, the school education department had issued a circular saying that the non-SSC schools have to directly report to the state school education department and their education inspectors. “The BMC has no authority over the non –SSC schools in greater Mumbai. And yet the officers continue to trouble our schools,’’ said Kedia.
Also, a circular issued by the state government on March 15 reiterated that the unaided minority schools do not have to implement the RTE act including the 25% quota admissions, he added.
Tauheed Shaikh, the BMC officer who issued the circular told HT that he had wrongly sent the circular to such schools.
“We understand that the schools are not under our purview. Circulars were sent to these schools by mistake,’’ he said.
Kedia added that the circular worried schools, and they have sent the details asked by the circular to the education department. ''If the BMC sent us the circular by mistake, they should have sent a clarification as well,'' said Kedia.

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