Thursday, February 13, 2014

Schools announce entrance tests despite RTE restrictions

Schools announce entrance tests despite RTE restrictions

Published: 23rd October 2013 08:38 AM
Last Updated: 23rd October 2013 08:38 AM
Looking to get your child admitted into a school next year? Get ready for aptitude tests and interviews with principals.
Many city schools have started issuing application forms for 2014-15 admissions and have announced on their respective websites that admissions would be based on the child’s performance in entrance tests and/or interviews along with parents. Child rights activists are fuming, calling it a violation of Section 13 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which prohibits subjecting children to any kind of screening procedures.
The website of Greenwood High International School, off Sarjapur Road, had a mention about aptitude tests for admissions to various classes. The school’s trustee, Manas Mehrotra said the tests are conducted only to evaluate a student’s position in various subjects.
“The tests have nothing to do with the admission process. In some cases, we have admitted even those students who have performed very poorly in the tests,” Mehrotra said. Interestingly, after he spoke to Express, the details of the tests were removed from the school’s website .
A Devaprakash, director (primary) at the Department of Public Instruction, clarified schools cannot conduct interviews or entrance tests for admissions. “How can they do that with RTE in place? This has come to our notice and we will soon issue a statement to inform parents,” he said. Any school violating Section 13 of the RTE Act is liable for punishment with `25,000 fine for the first contravention and `50,000 for each subsequent contraventions.
Anu Monga, head, Bangalore International School in Geddalahalli, said her school evaluates children in English, mathematics and science. “It is for the sake of the child that we insist on an entrance test. In fact, if they perform badly in the test, we ask the child to get admitted in the previous class,” she argued.
The websites of National Public School Banashankari, Indiranagar and Rajajinagar state that admissions to Classes 1 to 9 and Class 11 are “finalized based on the performance in the written test conducted in April/May.”
NPS chairman K P Gopalkrishna, however, said: “Our admissions will start after February. The Banashankari NPS doesn’t belong to our group. They are using our name. We have never conducted any interviews for admissions.

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