Maharashtra: Private schools to get 2,000 more from state for each RTE pupil

Students enrolled in private schools under provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009, will get around Rs 2,000 more as annual reimbursement.

The state government has hiked the per annum reimbursement. As per a government resolution issued by the education department, private schools will now receive up to Rs 17,670 per year for every student from economically weaker section – a hike of almost Rs 2,000. The amount was Rs 13,474 in the 2014-15 academic year.

All unaided non-minority schools in the city are expected to reserve 25% of their seats at entry level for students from economically weaker sections. The state reimburses the school for the student who studies there for free.
The schools will be paid Rs 17,670 or the actual spending on the student, whichever is lower.
Each year, approximately 3.000 students get admission in private schools through a lottery conducted by the civic body.
While schools have welcomed the hike in payout but have also demanded to know how the government arrived at the new amount.

Source: Times of India

Delhi: Parents cry foul after school asks EWS students to pay fees

A group of parents from the economically weaker section (EWS) claimed that a private school in south Delhi, where their children study, had asked them to pay fees from April next year as the institute cannot extend free education to the children.

Parents said that St George’s School in Alaknanda issued them a circular last week informing about the decision of the school, after which they held a protest on Wednesday and also submitted a letter to the Directorate of Education (DoE).

The circular said, “minority schools are exempted from giving free education to students by the government. Last two years, we were informing you about this. Now the school cannot extend the free education to your child due to this rising cost of expenditure in school. You have to pay fees for your ward in the next academic year 2018-2019 starting from April 2018.”

Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which was implemented in Delhi in 2011, all private schools were asked to admit students from EWS background on 25% of their seats. But a Supreme Court judgment exempted minority institutes from the ambit of the RTE in 2014.

“I am illiterate so I could not read the circular and asked one of my neighbours to read it. I am a driver and I cannot afford to pay so much fees. I will have to withdraw my child if the school insists that I pay the fees. We have written a letter to the DoE,” said the father of the child.

Atishi Marlena, advisor to education minister Manish Sisodia, said the DoE will on Thursday issue directions to the school that they can neither charge fee from EWS children nor can they ask them to leave the school.

“The children were admitted between 2011 and 2014 before the SC order exempted minority schools from following RTE. Those admitted before will have to be given free education as per RTE,” she said.

St George’s School principal Sara George maintained that none of the students will be asked to leave the school and students who are under EWS category will continue to get free education till Class 12.

“The circular was only a way to communicate with the parents so that they come to me and I can ask them to submit their latest income certificates. I want to cross check their income certificates so that only those who are actually under EWS get benefit of free education,” she said.

She said that she will meet the parents personally and resolve the issue.

Source: Hindustan Times

Delhi: Nursery admission rules for EWS category in January second week

The Delhi government is yet to announce the schedule and guidelines for nursery admissions in private schools under the economically weaker section (EWS) category, even as the application process under the open seats started on Wednesday.

All private unaided recognised schools ,except for minority institutions, have to keep 25% of their total seats reserved for EWS category under the Right to Education (RTE). Children whose parents earn less than Rs 1 lakh a year are eligible for admission under the category.

An official from the directorate of education (DoE) said the notification to start the online registration process for EWS category admission will come in second week of January.

“We are collecting data from all schools regarding the number of seats under EWS category to finalize the total seats available. We will announce the schedule in January, but broadly it will be same as open category admission schedule. It will end by March 31,” an official handling DoE’s private school branch said.

Till last year, nursery admission under EWS category were done online for around 1,100 schools that come under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules (DSEAR), 1973. The rest of the schools recognised under the RTE Act, 2009, conducted admission manually by giving out application forms.

However, the DoE official said that this year all 1,700 private schools, are likely to conduct nursery admissions through the online system.

This will mean that parents will fill an online application form after which a computerized lottery will be done to allot schools to applicants.

“Till last year only those schools which were under DSEAR, 1973, had to do EWS admission through centralized computerised lottery system. But now we are likely to include the rest of the schools in the system to have a uniform process for all schools,” the official said.

EWS admissions in nursery classes have been under scanner due to large number of seats remaining vacant. For the last academic year (2017-18) out of the over 27,000 seats under the category, only about 19,000 seats had been filled.

Source: Hindustan Times

Karnataka: RTE reservation likely to be extended to aided schools

Parents hoping to get a seat for their children under the RTE quota for the 2018–19 academic year have reason to cheer as the number of schools they can choose from is set to expand.

With the aim of improving the efficacy of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the State government is planning to ensure that aided schools too start reserving seats for students from weaker sections in the neighbourhood. “We are in the process of maoking changes to ensure that scope of the RTE Act is extended to aided institutions and we will ensure that the right beneficiaries are selected,” said Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait. As per Section 12 (1) (b) of the RTE Act, aided schools shall provide free and compulsory elementary education to such proportion of children admitted based on the annual recurring aid or grants so received bears their annual recurring expenses, subject to a minimum of 25%.

Souce: The Hindu

Maharashtra: First RTE kids staring at full fee burden in two years

NAGPUR: In another two and half years, the first batch of students admitted in private schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will lose the privilege of free education. They will have to either pay the full fees or leave their school.

Students who took admission in Std I in 2012-13 will enter Std VII in 2018, which is the threshold for free education under RTE Act. This means 2019, a year when both general and state elections are scheduled, will be the last year of them getting free education. From 2020 onwards, they will have to start paying as they enter Std IX.

For private unaided schools that have been pressing for full payment of RTE bills, this seems a perfect opportunity. They realize the time to build up pressure is now. Sanjay Tayde-Patil, founder of Maharashtra English Schools Trustees Association, said, “On Thursday we will be taking out a morcha in Nagpur to ensure people who matter listen to our demands. For too long, our RTE bills have been kept pending, with just a small fraction being given in phases. The government must understand we cannot function like this. I am sure the government cannot afford the political fallout of so many students being asked to pay up.”

Many expect the government will come up with some amendment to RTE Act that will ensure these students are not left stranded. Tayde-Patil said, “Maybe they will extend free education up to Std X or XII because there’s no way these students will be asked to end their schooling or shift to government schools.”

Consequences of expelling non-paying students is not something even schools want to face. Tayde-Patil said, “We will be painted as villains and hunted by everyone. Hence, we want to include parents in our agitation and make them understand this development is going to affect them two years from now. And after that every year a new batch of students will face the problem.”

MESTA says their immediate strategy is to stop admissions if full RTE reimbursements are not received. “Somebody has to bear the expenses of students admitted under RTE quota and as of now the government is not doing it completely. If we cannot expel students, best way is to stop admissions completely,” said Tayde-Patil.

Source: Times Of India

Maharshtra : Enrolments in Mumbai’s civic schools drop by 50% in 8 years

The Right to Education Act (RTE), which allows free education to students from lower income groups, aspirations of parents wanting private schooling for their children, and poor quality of education imparted in civic schools have collectively resulted in more than 50% dip in enrolment in municipal schools across Mumbai.

Statistics shared by Praja Foundation have revealed that enrolments to Class 1 in BMC schools have fallen drastically from 63,392 in 2008-09 to 32,218 in 2016-17.

“One of the reasons for this dip is lack of quality education in BMC schools, owing to which parents are willing to pay fees of a private school over free education at municipal schools,” said Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee, Praja Foundation. She added that status of BMC’s Mumbai Public Schools (English medium) is much better than the older BMC schools in terms of enrolment and dropout rate.

On Tuesday, the NGO released its annual report on municipal education in Mumbai. Other than low enrolment rate, this report also highlighted that the rate of dropout has fallen by more than 50% in the past one year.

“Last year, 15 out of 100 students were dropping out of BMC schools. But this year the number is eight dropouts per 100 students. The BMC has been doing a lot to curb dropouts but no one seems to be doing anything about the dipping enrolment,” said Milind Mhaske, project director, Praja Foundation.

Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer, told HT that RTE as well as parents’ attitude towards municipal schools has resulted in a drop in children taking admissions at civic schools.

“We conducted seven rounds of school survey to find students who didn’t attend school for months and have managed to get them back. But with RTE in place, we can’t force parents to send their children to our schools,” he said.

The NGO interviewed 2,758 parents, of which most respondents complained about the poor quality education and lack of basic amenities at municipal schools as the primary reasons for them to shift the children to private schools.

“Of late, the BMC has been pushing for better accountability in their schools. But their approach is not the best. The BMC plans to fine teachers if students don’t fair well. However, they should focus on training teachers more. Instead of just blaming the teachers, other senior officials should also be made accountable,” added Mehta.

Nitin Wadhwani, founder and director, Citizen’s Association for Child Rights, said the problem seems to be with the preconceived image of BMC schools in parents’ minds.

“BMC schools are doing well in terms of infrastructure and implementation of latest technology. But they fail to provide basic training to their teachers, which ultimately shows in their results,” he said.

Wadhwani added that BMC needs to focus on spending funds in right places. “Only when parents see real change, will they trust the BMC schools again.”

Source: Hindustan Times

TamilNadu | Hundreds log in for RTE admissions

On Day 1, Chennai has the highest number of applicants; online counters to be open till May 18

Online applications under the Right to Education (RTE) Act opened up at the midnight of April 20 and the first application was received by the education department as early as 12.48 a.m. from a parent in East Tambaram.

At 7.50 p.m. on day 1 of the process, the School Education Department had received 1,246 applications.

Speaking to The Hindu, School Education Secretary T. Udhayachandran said the department had gone ahead with initiating an online process for RTE admissions to bring in more transparency. “We had previously heard reports about a few schools refusing to admit students under the RTE and through this process, there will be fewer roadblocks for parents. While schools are allowed to issue RTE forms, they have been instructed to upload the details online as well or send the forms to the education offices in their area,” Mr. Udhayachandran said.

Chennai education district received the highest number of RTE applications from parents, followed by Tiruvallur and Salem education districts.

A parent filling in the RTE form online can view the seats available and select the schools in their respective areas. Parents who apply are then sent a confirmation with an SMS once the form has been submitted.

e-seva centres

While the department has only partly taken applications online, parents can approach the e-seva centres in their districts or can seek help from the District Education Offices to submit forms in case they don’t have access to computers. The online counters for RTE applications will be open till May 18. With a number of private schools taking their admission process online, the move to shift RTE admissions online was welcomed by educationalists as it would streamline the process. Earlier this month, the education department had announced that it was taking the process partly online and had published the list of schools and seats available online as well.

“If there are educational districts which receive more applications than the number of seats available, the Education Department will arrange for lots to be picked. This will not be online, but will be done manually in front of the parents and children to ensure that they are aware of the process,” Mr. Udhayachandran said.

Source: The Hindu

Tamil nadu | Online RTE admissions from April 20

With 5,138 seats in 669 matriculation schools, the Tiruvallur education district has the highest number of seats available under the Right to Education Act for the 2017-18 academic year.

The admissions will also be done online in Tamil Nadu this year and will be open from April 20 through the website of the School Education Department.

The facility to have online counters for RTE admissions is already in place in New Delhi and Maharashtra.

Under the RTE Act, 25% of the seats at the entry level classes in schools should be earmarked for students from the weaker sections of the society.

The School Education Department has separately provided details about the seats available under the RTE Act in matriculation schools as well as nursery schools in each district online in a move to help parents identify institutions in their neighbourhood.

The Chennai and Kancheepuram educational districts follow Tiruvallur with 4,914 seats and 4,042 seats which have been set aside under the RTE Act.

e-seva centres

To use the online service, parents can approach the e-seva centres in their districts or can seek help from the District Education Offices. Parents who apply for admissions online will receive a confirmation with an SMS, an official from the Education Department said.

While the online counters for RTE applications will be kept open till May 18, parents will be able to go to the educational institutions in person and apply, as well as submit RTE forms.

The move to take the application process partly online for RTE seats has been welcomed by educationists and activists many of whom have been appealing to the government for the past few years to make the process more transparent and fair.

“Making the RTE applications available online will hopefully streamline the process. There have been several instances where people have gone to schools with recommendations and money to buy seats set aside under the RTE Act, and we hope this will come down,” said K.R. Nandhakumar, State general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary and Matriculation Schools Association.

The State government, in a statement, said that ₹125 crore has been allotted for students who were admitted under the RTE Act in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and who continue studying in schools across the State.

The settlements will reach the educational institutions soon, the statement added.

Source: The Hindu

EWS quota admissions to go online; parents and activists up in arms

The eligible candidates will then be allotted schools and a notification will be sent on the cellphone of parents, who will have to then confirm the admission of their ward in the selected school, said the official.

The admission for 25 per cent reservation under the Right to Education (RTE) for the economically and socially backward students in the state will go online from the next academic year. This has, however, irked activists and parents. who alleged that the process gives freedom to school managements to fix the entry level for admission.

An official from the education department said that as per the RTE admission procedure, once the education department announces the schedule, the parents of the beneficiary students will have to fill up forms with details and choice of schools. These forms have to be submitted to the nearest help centre.

After receiving all the forms, documents are scrutinised by the officers and a list of eligible candidates is announced. The eligible candidates will then be allotted schools and a notification will be sent on the cellphone of parents, who will have to then confirm the admission of their ward in the selected school, said the official.

Source: The Indian Express

RTE backlog: Schools ordered to admit 10% more students

The Department of Public Instruction has issued a notification directing private schools which were part of a court case, to admit an additional 10% of students under the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009, as per high court orders.

National Public School, Sharada Vidyalaya, New Horizon Educational and Cultural Trust, Sindhi School and others had approached the high court, contending that they were linguistic minority institutions and therefore exempted from admitting students under the Right to Education Act.

The 10% is treated as a backlog since students were deprived of admission for the past three years while the case before the court. This allocation is in addition to the 25% seats prescribed under the Act.

The schools had denied seats following a stay order by the high court. The court has directed these schools to admit the students under the Right to Education Act this year.

Source : www.deccanherald.com