Friday, May 17, 2013

Hyderabad schools openly flouting RTE Act

Hyderabad schools openly flouting RTE Act

| April 4, 2013 | 1 Comment

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Despite the implementation of the RTE Act, many parents are still at the mercy of private schools that do as they wish. Postnoon found several schools across the City openly flouting regulations.

On one hand where efforts are being made to ensure that equal and free education is given to children from economically backward classes, on the other, majority of private schools — including some of the most reputed ones — are violating all the norms of the RTE Act.
According to the Act, private schools must keep 25 per cent seats for students from the government list. Under no circumstances are the schools supposed to conduct entrance tests of their own from Class II to Class IV. “No school shall, while admitting a child, subject the child or the parents to any screening procedure,” the Act states. It also guarantees free and compulsory elementary quality education to all children aged between 6 and 14 years.
Despite several complaints by parents, no action has been taken against school authorities who have been violating these norms. However, the Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sangham (APBHS), a child right organisation, has filed a petition with the Lokayukta court to take action against the educational department for failing to curb private schools from acting according to their own whims and fancies.
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“Clearly violating the RTE Act, schools like Johnson Grammar High School, Bashyam High School, Sri Chaitanya Techno School and Bharathi Vidya Bhavan are among the few that have been conducting entrance exams. These schools have started issuing applications forms for the next academic year. Most of private schools are done with their entrance tests and will be announcing the results by April 14,” says the president of the APBHS, Achyuta Rao. Stating that government officials are hand-in-glove with private schools, he added, “If today these schools are openly conducting entrance tests
without any fear it’s only because they know that they have the support of ministers. Government officials have formed a nexus with the private schools and are trying to spirit away the funds released by the Central government towards the RTE.”
This apart, the APBHS has also told the Lokayukta that these schools have not been recognised, but are still being allowed to function.
“The RTE clearly states that schools in the City should be recognised, however many schools are getting only a few of their branches recognised, and since they have a brand name, they do not get other branches recognised. Half of these schools have teachers who are not adequately qualified,” he adds.
When Postnoon contacted these schools most of them refused to comment, and a few that did denied the allegations against them. Meanwhile, parents whose children appeared for the entrance test said that the indifference of the government will cost the children their future.
“The government should regulate the admission process. Every school is going against the RTE Act and we have no option but to send our children for the entrance test. Despite several complaints, no action has been taken,” says Sunitha Verma, a parent.
The Lokayukta has issued notices to the department of school education on the alleged violation of norms of Right to Education Act. Acting on the petition by the APBHS, the Lokayukta has asked the government to explain action taken by April 9.
Hyderabad district collector Syed Ali Murtuza Rizvi said, “We have issued notices to schools and have sought an explanation. Action will be taken accordingly,” he said.
Norms flouted
  1. The RTE Act states that no school shall, while admitting a child, subject the child or the parents to any screening procedure. But many schools have been conducting their own entrance tests from Class II to Class IV.
  2. Many schools in the City have recognition only for a few of their bra­nches; whereas the RTE Act clearly states that all schools must be recognised. Since the schools have a brand name, they do not get other branches recognised.
  3. Many private schools have teachers without adequate qualification.

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