Private schools to enforce the RTE Act and reserve 25% quota for students from EWS
RTE Act in Schools
City schools are flooded with Right to Education Act (RTE) queries after the recent Supreme Court judgement mandating all private schools to enforce the RTE Act and reserve 25 per cent quota in admissions for children from the economically weaker section (EWS).
Many EWS parents, armed with their white ration cards, are approaching private schools for admission, but are being turned back as the schools say they have not received any instructions from the government to implement the quota. The schools are most concerned that the state government, which is supposed to pay the fees of the EWS students, has not clarified how much the reimbursement will be.
Minister for primary education, Mr S. Shailajanath, was to initiate the process of consulting all stakeholders by holding a full-fledged meeting on RTE, but it has not materialised since the minister is busy touring his native district to take part in the ongoing Prajapatham programme. It is not so much the elite schools, which offer the IB, IGCSE, or CBSE and ICSE curriculum, at fees ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, that are being besieged by parents. The most sought-after schools are the middle-level and lower-rung schools affiliated to the state board and located near slums and in by-lanes, which charge between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 per annum.
Parents want to shift their children from badly run government schools to these modest private schools. The trend is to move children a notch higher so that they can avail of a better education under the quota scheme than they would on the strength of what their parents would normally afford. Parents also want to move their wards from government-run Telugu medium schools to private English medium schools.
The schools’ contention that the reservation for poor students would drain their resources was contested by the government promised to reimburse the money spend by them of these students.