Thursday, January 23, 2014

Elite schools skirting RTE provision

Elite schools skirting RTE provision

TNN Apr 19, 2013, 04.20AM IST

JAMSHEDPUR: Problems for economically backward students, seeking admission in English medium schools as mandated in the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2008, is far from over.
Even two months after the admission process began and fortnight after the new session started, most of the English medium schools are yet to admit BPL students, whose parents are bombarded with counter queries from school authorities.
On Thursday, a parents' delegation met ADC Ganesh Kumar and sought his intervention into the matter to ensure rightful admission.
"The schools ask for BPL cards. When we furnish documents (like income certificate) they say they will verify the documents and later call us and subsequently say they don't approve income certificates," said Sitaram Dera, a daily-wage earner, who was trying to get his son Karma Minz admitted to Tarapore Agrico English School.
Although, ADC has assured of inquiry into the Tarapore school episode there are several such English schools that are apparently unsympathetic to the cause of the economically poor children. "Fact of the matter is that schools are unwilling to take BPL candidates admission because by admitting economically poor candidates they fear loosing liquid money that comes in hundreds and thousands from the well-off candidates (in the admission season)," said RTE activist, Dr Umesh Kumar.
Though, the district administration has assured the private English medium schools that government grant to the schools in lieu of admitting BPL candidates, upto 25 percent of the available seat capacity, will be released to them but administration officials word has apparently failed to persuade the wary schools.
"What more do I need to say. Several of the schools are yet to receive last academic year (2012-13) funds in lieu of admission of the BPL candidates," said a vocal functionary of the Jamshedpur Unaided Private English Medium School Association, maintaining anonymity.
To ensure free and compulsory education to all the children the government enacted the RTE law but several of the English schools here are perhaps not very keen to the idea of 'free education'.By conservative estimate over 100 BPL candidates are still waiting for school admission. "Sooner I receive the complaint report (from the ADC) I will conduct thorough probe into the Tarapore school matter," said DSE, Ajay Shankar, to the delegation that approached him separately for probe into the admission fiasco.

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