Friday, January 24, 2014

Schools cold to information counters on RTE Act

Schools cold to information counters on RTE Act

Bangalore, Jan 2, 2014, DHNS :
Office of the BEO also not helpful in assisting parents
The Private School Managements' Association feels that full-time counters for RTE quota seats are of no use.
 There appears to be a lukewarm response by schools to the directive of the Department of Public Instruction to set up separate counters providing information on admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The admission process for seats under the RTE Act for 2014-15 is all set to commence in a few days.

According to an official from the department, mostly schools in Bangalore and Mysore have not taken the initiative to set up the RTE counters so far.

According to V R V Reddy from Kusma (Karnataka Unaided Schools Managements’ Association), the counters will be opened only when required as it is not mandatory. Kusma is an organisation of 1,600 to 1,800 private schools managements. 

Sudi Suresh, secretary of Karnataka State Private School Managements’ Association, that includes 1,200 schools, also felt that there was no use providing full-time counters for providing information with regard to RTE.

“We will decide the matter after a meeting soon. In any case, the schools can provide information without separate counters,” said Suresh.  

However, Jagadish H B, who got his daughter admitted to a school in the City under the 25 per cent quota, reveals his ordeal last year that was aggravated when he did not receive any assistance from schools.

“With regard to information on the procedures for admission, there was no guidance from the schools we visited. They directed us to the office of the Block Education Officer (BEO),” said Jagadish.      

Niranjan Aradhya, fellow, Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University, was of the opinion that each and every school should have contact points for disbursing information on RTE. 

“I visited a couple of schools out of curiosity and none of them had any provision for an RTE cell. They should do more,” he said.

A similar situation had prevailed last year too. Sunil Kumar, who got his daughter admitted to a prominent school in the City last year under RTE, still remembers the hard time he had to face.

“Schools did not provide any information with regard to the Act and I did not get satisfactory answers to my queries even from the BEO. I was able to access the department’s website and get the information I wanted. But, think of those who are not able to do the same,” said Kumar.

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