Thursday, June 26, 2014

School aur shikshakon ki kami

RTE may replace old education acts in state

RTE may replace old education acts in state

Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 08, 2013
First Published: 01:52 IST(8/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:53 IST(8/5/2013)
To avoid confusion and duplicity in the implementation of Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, the Maharashtra education department has proposed to scrap the existing laws related to primary education like the Primary Education Act in the state and completely replace it with the RTE.
The proposal that is likely to be tabled at the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday is a procedure adopted to implement the act in totality. The state has already missed the Supreme Court three-year deadline on March 31, 2013, to implement the entire act.
“The RTE act is a superior act and it overrules all other acts in the state. This is a proposed move to scrap all such acts and bring them under one umbrella,” a senior government official said. The official added that the RTE has changed the way students are given admissions, examinations are conducted, fees are drawn, teacher-student ratio is fixed, and syllabus is drawn. “It is a positive step by the government to embrace the RTE act in totality,” he added.

326 EWS seats vacant in 35 schools

326 EWS seats vacant in 35 schools

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ChdDEO has directed schools not to include vacant EWS seats in general category. Express archive
As many as 326 seats are still vacant under the economic weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged groups quota in 35 unaided recognised private schools of the city. The District Education Office (DEO) of the UT education department, on an average, receives three applications a day pertaining to EWS admissions in different private schools.
These seats are meant for admissions to the entry level classes and come under the 25 per cent quota, as prescribed in the RTE Act. The department will continue with EWS and disadvantaged groups admissions till the time it feels that private schools have made sufficient effort to admit such students.
The education department has already directed the schools not to convert the quota seats into general category 'till further orders'. Earlier, over 400 seats were lying vacant in the private schools under the EWS category. Of these over 340 seats are vacant in 35 recognised unaided private schools and above 54 in 13 minority schools.
After a public notice was issued by the education department on March 18 seeking applications from EWS families and the disadvantaged groups for admissions to schools, the department had received 227 applications.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, DEO Ram Kumar Sharma said, "We have instructed the schools not to convert the seats into the general category, as we are still receiving applications from EWS families. Our priority is to implement the RTE Act in its totality."
Adding to it, he said, "As soon as we receive applications, we mark it to the principals concerned and also hand over a copy to the parents, just to bring in transparency".
Moreover, to create awareness among the EWS families, National Students Union of India (NSUI), one of the students outfits of Panjab University, has been holding awareness camps at various places. They have already organised camps in Sector 38, Dadumajra and Sector 25, and submitted representations with the higher authorities, including education secretary and director public instructions (schools) with regard to EWS admissions.
"We have already collected around 70 applications and soon we will be submitting them at the DEO office. We will hold more camps to apprise people of their right to education as provided by the RTE Act," NSUI member Sunny Mehta said.

HC notice to Centre, KVS on PIL for free education under RTE

The  High  today asked the Centre to make its stand clear on a PIL seeking a direction to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for its "failure" to provide totally free education to students of Class I-VIII under the Right to Education Act.

Issuing notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development and also to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath sought response by May 15.

The bench in its order said "explain by way of an affidavit the steps taken to comply with the provision of the RTE Act..."

The court order came after KVS's counsel, who accepted notice in the court, submitted that after the enforcement of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, no tuition fee has been collected from students but on account of computer classes and other things, a minimal amount was charged from them.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Social Jurists, an NGO, through counsel Ashok Agarwal, alleging that all the Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) all over the country including Delhi have been charging fee under various heads from the students of Classes I to VIII.

According to the petitioner KVS "failed" to provide totally free education to students studying in Class I to Class VIII in all Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) run by them as required in terms of Articles 21 and 21-A of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 of the RTE Act.

407 new primary schools may come up next academic year

VISAKHAPATNAM: Primary school education is likely to get a boost in the district with the government planning to add 407 schools to the 3,238 existing ones under the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) in the coming academic year (in 2013-14).

The new schools will be set up at a cost of Rs 75.29 crore and take in nearly 8,500 students. Also, new hostels are proposed to be set up in some mandals to house students who travel long distances to attend school.

RVM project officer M Venkateswara Rao said that they have sent proposals worth Rs 337.51 crore to the government for its approval for various projects, including the setting up of the 407 schools. "We expect the government's clearance by the end of the month and will start work soon after receiving the grants," Rao said.

A senior education officer, however, sounded sceptical about receiving funds from the Centre. "I do not think that the RVM will get the funds it requires as the Union finance ministry allocated only Rs 27,258 crore for implementing the Right to Education (RTE) Act across the country, an increase of about 6.6% from the last financial year."

The Rajiv Vidya Mission, which aims to improve the standard of primary education (Class I to Class VII), has identified 138 primary schools where major repair works worth Rs 2.47 crore have to be taken up. It has also identified 42 upper primary schools where repairs would cost another Rs 1.2 crore.

It also proposes to build 237 toilets, including 92 toilets for girls, and restore 2,838 defunct toilets in schools across 43 mandals as part of its efforts to develop infrastructure facilities for students under RTE. It plans to construct boundary walls in schools at the cost of Rs 11.31 crore and procure two sets of uniforms each to 2.6 lakh students at a cost of Rs 10.4 crore.

The RVM plans to recruit 945 teachers for upper primary schools and 196 part-time instructors for art education, health and physical education.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) state vice-president G Vijay Kumar said that the standards of higher education have also fallen at 474 high schools in the district due to the failures of the officials concerned.

The in-charge project officer of the Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), which is aimed at improving standards of higher education (Class VIII to Class X), B Lingeswara Reddy, said they did not make any proposals for new projects and are concentrating on improving the existing system in high schools. 

HC to hear fee PIL against Kendriya Vidyalayas today

HC to hear fee PIL against Kendriya Vidyalayas today

New Delhi: may 7, 2013 DHNS
A civil rights group has filed a public interest litigation in Delhi High Court against Kendriya Vidyalayas for charging fee from class I to 8 students in violation of the Right to Education Act, 2009. The hearing is fixed for Wednesday.

The petitioner, social jurist, said, “Despite Article 21 and 21-A of the Constitution providing right to free and compulsory education and RTE Act, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan has failed to provide free education to children studying in classes 1 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalayas across the city.” 

“It is also subjecting students to pay fee in one form or another,” he added. 
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan runs over 1,000 Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country. 

Fee hike
The petition said the fee has been arbitrarily increased from the 2013-14 academic session. “A Kendriya Vidyalaya in west Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh was taking Rs 720 quarterly from a class I student in 2012-13 session. And Rs 150 as computer fund. In 2013-14, the fee has been increased to Rs 1,500 quarterly,” it added.


The petitioner said, “The parents of students who have been subjected to pay fee to Kendriya Vidyalayas should be entitled to get refund.”

Around 10 lakh students study in classes 1 to 12 in Kendriya Vidyalayas across India. 
Nearly seven to eight lakh students are studying in elementary classes from 1 to 8

Autistic child fit to attend school with shadow teacher: Panel

MUMBAI: An eight-year-old autistic boy, who was ousted from Jamnabai Narsee School in Juhu last year, is "fit to be allowed to attend regular school with a shadow teacher", said a report submitted by an expert panel to the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Tuesday.

The report was based on the observations of the commission-appointed panel, comprising child developmental experts and led by Dr Samir Dalwai, who reviewed the child in a classroom setting. The report said the boy did "not show any signs or inclination of hurting himself or others" during the observation period, as had been alleged by the school.

The case made news because of the school involved as well as the disability in question.

In July 2012, the boy's parents received a letter from the school requesting them to transfer the child to another insitute as his behaviour was disturbing other students. Armed with the provisions under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, the parents moved the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in August 2012.

According to the RTE Act, every child has the right to education and schools have to take steps to integrate special children with conditions such as autism, learning disability or cerebral palsy.

Earlier, the Bombay high court and the commission had asked the school to allow the child in the classroom for a month along with a shadow teacher. This was the first court case in the country where a special child was allowed to attend a regular school with a shadow teacher, said Dr Dalwai.

The panel was to observe the boy for a month, but the experts could do so only for two weeks as the academic session was coming to an end. The report was submitted to the commission on Tuesday and both the parties-the school and the parents-have been asked to deliberate on the report and decide if it is acceptable in the next three days.

The report said that despite his prolonged absence, the child showed remarkable adaptation and willingness to attend schooland comply with all requirements

. "There was no violent or self-destructive behaviour, which is aided by the presence of a shadow teacher," said the report. The school had claimed that the child was a threat to other students as well as to himself due to his developmental problems, but this "was not the case,'' said the report.

In his report, Dr Dalwai said, "His classmates responded with utmost love, concern and affection... They were seen willingly and lovingly helping him with his tasks... They were happy to include him."

But the report added that the parents should accept that their child's achievements may not be on a par with other students. It also recommended the school to have a comprehensive programme in place for the student that will require regular coordination between his teachers, resource team, shadow teacher and parents. "With the school actively providing a comprehensive programme in letter and spirit, the child's participation and progress will improve," said the report.

And, the school should also provide whatever assistance is available, from the regular as well as the resource staff. "The parents also need to provide additional therapy and treatment as advised by their physician and therapy team," it said.

Dalwai said, "The Constitution of India guarantees every child the right to go to regular school and all of us must make every possible efforts to facilitate this."

The school representative refused to comment on the observations in the report. "I am travelling. I do not know what happened at the hearing. Also the school's stand remains the same. We do not wish to comment on this case," said principal Sudeshna Chatterjee.

The commission is headed by secretary A N Tripathi and acting chairperson Ujjwal Uke.

Private schools still reluctant to follow RTE norms

TRICHY: A woman's attempt to seek help from the district administration to get her daughter admission in a private school under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, exposed the failure of the landmark legislation to provide 25% reservation for poor students in private schools. The woman had to approach the district collector after a school turned down her plea to admit her five-year-old daughter. Finally, on Monday the 32-year-old poor house wife received the application for admission after the intervention of the district administration.

The dream of R Sudha, the wife of a labourer, D Kannan, in Gandhi market in Trichy, is to provide the best education available to her daughter, despite financial constraints. She found a ray of hope in the RTE Act which ensures reservation for poor students in private schools. But her experience to secure Class 1 admission to her daughter K Meenakshi in a private school in K K Nagar was bitter. Though she had submitted the relevant documents to prove her poverty, the school made her run from pillar to post. "They had earlier denied her admission to LKG last year. When I approached them for admission to Class 1 this year, they did not give me a proper reply. So, I submitted petitions to chief education officer (CEO) and the Inspector of Matriculation Schools (IMS), Trichy. But my efforts failed," said Sudha.

As help was not forthcoming from the education authorities too, Sudha approached Trichy district collector Jayashree Muralidharan on Monday. On her orders, the school issued the application. "The school today gave me the application and asked me to come on Wednesday. But I don't know whether my daughter will get admission in LKG or first standard."

But top education official had a different take on the issue. "A private school can admit the students under the RTE Act in their entry-level classes permitted by the government. In this case, the particular school can admit a student to the LKG only. But the woman wanted admission for first standard," said P Mathivanan, IMS, Trichy.

Sudha's case is just a tip of the iceberg as many private schools are reluctant to reserve 25% seats for poor students. The failure of the education department to take action against schools violating RTE norms, encourage private school administrations to torpedo the progressive Act. Commenting on the issue, Mathivanan, said: "We are going to take the matter seriously. We will advise matriculation school administrations to follow the rules failing which they have to face the legal consequences."

RTE: Corrected GR on way, relief for general category students

RTE: Corrected GR on way, relief for general category students

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March 15 GR appears to exclude general category students from the purview of the Act, depriving them of 25% EWS quota seats.
The education department has assured that the Maharashtra government will soon come out with a corrected version of the March 15 government resolution (GR) that appeared to have excluded general category students from the purview of the Right To Education (RTE) Act 2009, robbing them of the 25 per cent seats reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society.
The Indian Express had reported on March 21 about the lapse on part of the government. The GR issued on March 15 would be operational from the coming academic year. According to it, a child belonging to "disadvantaged group" means a child belonging to the Scheduled Caste or Schedule Tribe or a child with disability (as per the 2010 amendment of the original Act).
As per the GR, a "child belonging to weaker section" means a child including one belonging to Vimukta Jatis and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT), Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Special Backward Classes (SBC) and religious minorities specified by the state government, and the annual income of whose parent or guardian is below Rs 1 lakh. Thus, there is no mention of general category students, which had been lamented by activists.
According to the GR, the 25 per cent reservation for EWS students shall apply to all schools except unaided minority schools and madrasas, Vedic pathshalas and educational institutions primarily imparting religious education.
"This is a bad move. General category students will not be able to get admission no matter how poor he or she is. Besides, unaided minority schools too will not give admission to disadvantaged students. Hence, this GR will ruin the entire purpose of the RTE Act. There is a need to change the GR and issue a corrected version," said Nilesh Borate, a social activist.
Responding to the issue, Director, Primary Education, Mahavir Mane, said he had already notified the state government regarding the error. "I have notified the state government officials. It takes time to come up with a new GR. But a corrected GR will be issued soon," said Mane.
"Meanwhile, I have also asked the field officers to make sure that no discrimination takes place in the admissions as an aftermath of this GR. People are always ready to find loopholes in government rules but that should not affect students who are poor and belong to general category. Hence, the ground level officers will ensure that eligible candidates from open category too get admission under EWS quota," he added.