Thursday, February 13, 2014

Matric schools asked to regulate student intake at entry level

Matric schools asked to regulate student intake at entry level

Asha Sridhar
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Schools cannot have over four sections in primary classes

Well ahead of the admission season, the directorate of matriculation schools has sent a reminder to schools spelling out norms to regulate entry-level admissions as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and the Code of Regulations for matriculation schools.
The circular reiterates that matriculation schools cannot have over four sections in entry-level classes, and will require permission from the directorate for a fifth section. It also gives the ideal teacher-pupil ratio mandated by the RTE Act, an official said.
“A teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30 for primary classes and 1:35 for upper primary classes is mandated by the RTE Act and is applicable across the nation,” a senior school education department official said. The same regulations were applicable even during the last academic year, the official added.
As per the circular, schools with one section in LKG can take in up to 30 students, and will have to reserve eight seats under the 25 per cent RTE quota for children from weaker sections of society and disadvantaged groups. The maximum number of students a school can enrol in LKG is150, if they have five sections. Of these, 38 seats have to be set aside under the RTE quota.
Over the past few months, the directorate has been asking schools to fall in line with the Code of Regulations for matriculation schools which restricts the number of sections to four in each standard.
“Since it is not possible for schools to downsize in all classes, we are asking them to restrict entry-level admissions so that it can be regulated in the long run,” an official from the directorate said. This year, the directorate has decided to enforce this rule strictly.
Though schools agreed on maintenance of the desired teacher-pupil ratio, they were divided about the limit on the number of sections. A correspondent of a school in Kolathur said that while maintaining the ideal teacher-pupil ratio was necessary, limiting the number of sections in entry-level classes would be difficult.
“We have 10 sections in the KG classes, and have built adequate infrastructure, hired teachers and bought furniture to cater to this number. Existing schools, which faced no problem earlier when they increased the number of sections, must be exempted as long as they are able to comply with safety norms,” he said.
A principal of another school in south Chennai said that schools already faced immense pressure at the time of admissions. “We will have to cut down one section. We do not have over 35 students in KG classes because safety and individual attention are our priorities. Reducing intake will be difficult for schools which have over eight sections,” she said.
This article has been corrected for an editing error.

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