Friday, February 7, 2014

RTE: Defaulters to pay

Payal Dhawan, TNN Feb 5, 2014, 05.55AM IST

LUDHIANA: Taking note of a news report carried in the Times of India, highlighting violation of Right to Education Act provisions, the state education department has decided to look into the functioning of schools which, despite being in the list of "closed schools'' in the 2012-13 Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, are open and in violation of the Act. State education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said he would take action against "lax" officials of education department; if it was established that they were reluctant in acting against defaulting schools.
"If it comes out that schools are not following RTE, I will make sure they are closed. If a DEO is found not doing his duty I will definitely take action against him," said Maluka. In its news report on January 31, TOI highlighted that both branches of Ryan International School were still defying norms by continuing to function despite their names figuring in the list of closed schools given by Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Later, it turned out that other schools under Punjab School Education Board were involved in similar violations. District Education Officer (Primary) Ranjeet Singh Malhi, who had earlier sent names of defaulters not following RTE Act, maintained that the branches of Ryan International school, cannot be considered violators as they are minority institutions.
"Minority schools are exempt from RTE. That's why I cannot proceed for their closure," said DEO (Primary) Ranjeet Singh Malhi. However, he failed to explain as to why the names of these schools were recommended and mentioned in the list of closed schools.
However, Malhi's claims are countered by senior officials. "Every school including Ryan International school has to follow RTE. The definition of "Minority schools" has been updated," said district coordinator, RTE, Anil Matharoo.

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