Karnal | EWS students: Private schools reopen today but protest will continue

Karnal: Demanding that the Rule 134-A of the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003, be repealed, private schools held a protest in Karnal on Tuesday. Private schools across the state have been on strike against the rule that makes it mandatory for them to admit 10% students from economically weaker section (EWS).

Over 18,000 schools have remained closed since last May 6, which affected the studies of more than 28 lakh students. The private schools’ associations declared that the schools would reopen on Wednesday but they would not cooperate with the administration for hosting events and sharing resources. They said that except for Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations, they would not collaborate or participate in any state government events and would not give their buses or infrastructure.

President of National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) Kulbhushan Sharma said, “We do not want to harm the students. Therefore, the schools will reopen on Wednesday but our protest will continue.”

 Repeating their demand to scrap Rule 134-A and implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act instead, Sharma said.
 He said they haven’t held any dialogue with the government over the issue yet. “We are challenging the government for an open debate. We are not ruining the education of poor students; rather we have been admitting children from EWS category without receiving a single penny from the government for that for the past three years.” tnn
Sharma said that the state government should pay the fee of EWS category students in private schools, like Delhi and Uttrakhand governments were already doing.

Haryana | EWS kids left in lurch as Haryana suspends admission process

The last-minute refusal of admission to virtually hundreds of children belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) by private schools has left their parents writhing under anguish.

The admissions were supposed to be held on April 18 through draw of lots under Rule 134 A of the State Education Rules, 2003 (amended in 2013) in all the districts of the state.

While the Right to Education (RTE) Act is applicable only to Class 1 (25% seats) in Haryana, it is Rule 134 A of the Haryana School Education Rules that directs the private and aided schools to reserve 10% seats for EWS students for Classes 2 to 12. The draw of lots for these classes, which was scheduled to be held on April 18, was abruptly suspended by the government, without citing any reason.

The state government on Thursday claimed that the delay was because of confusion in admission criteria which had now been resolved and the admission process would be restored soon.

Parents complain

However, the parents seeking admission for their children in various districts of the state told HT that the schools were still denying admission to their wards.

Brij Pal, who runs a non-government organisation (NGO) in Bhiwani, said more than 5,000 children there were left in lurch and he would hold a protest against the state government and schools on Friday.

‘No clarity on merit condition’

A senior official of the state school education department said that the admission process had to be abruptly suspended even before beginning it, as there was no clarity on the condition of merit of the applicants. All the applicants belonging to poor families – below poverty line (BPL) and EWS – sought admission in private or government-aided schools under the Rule 134 A and their were no criteria to select them in the schools which had only limited seats.

“Now, the government has decided that all the BPL and EWS applicants would be given admission as per a merit list. It has also been decided to give appropriate amount to the private and aided schools admitting these children as per the rules,” a senior official said and added that an announcement in this context would be made soon.

‘No school got reimbursement’

Kulbhushan Sharma, president, Federation of Private Schools, Haryana, however, alleged that the state government was only confusing the issue as it had not given any reimbursement to any school, despite the fact that the private schools had been admitting poor children ever since the relevant rules came into effect. “Also, the state government has now been directed by the Punjab and Haryana high court too to pay us the reimbursement, yet it has not given us any reimbursement,” he added.

Source : Hindustan Times

Haryana | Fee row: Fate of 15K EWS students hangs in balance

Who should pay the fee for 15,000 students from economically weaker sections (EWS), who were admitted in private schools of Haryana last year under a rule of the state government?

Owners of private schools say that the state government and Centre should reimburse the fee under Right to Education (RTE) Act but the state government is no mood to oblige the private schools on their demand. Both parties are ready for a legal battle over the issue.

A social activist Satvir Singh Hooda, who is fighting the legal battle for EWS students since long, asked both the government and private schools not to create hurdles in the way of their admission.
“Both parties should stop the drama and resolve the issue. It’s between government and private schools to pay the fee,” he said.

The issue is being raised by Haryana’s federation of private school associations, which has demanded fee reimbursement from the government.

“As per Haryana School Education Rules, the private schools have to admit up to 10% EWS students and they can charge a fee only equivalent to the government schools,” said an official of the state government.

“But we want the government to frame rules under state law or reimburse the fee under Centre’s RTE Act,” said Kulbhushan Sharma, president of the federation.

“We have been admitting students from EWS for the past four years, but the government has not reimbursed the fee,” he added. “A still better solution is to provide education vouchers of Rs 2,500 per month to all poor students so that they can join a school of their choice,” Sharma suggested.

Source : The Times Of India

Harayana | School EWS quota may go up

GURGAON: The state government is considering raising the percentage of intake of students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) from 10% to 25%. State education minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the change in quota will be done under Rule 134A of Haryana School Association Act, 1995, while speaking at a meeting of Gurgaon parents association on Friday, called to discuss status of EWS admissions in private schools.

Unlike RTE, the state government does not reimburse private schools for admissions under Rule 134A. Opening of admissions under Rule 134A will also allow EWS children to get admissions in Class I to Class VIII, whereas under RTE, they are only admitted in Class I.

Private schools have long been resistant to allowing admissions in all classes. Colonel Pratap Singh, president of the Haryana progressive schools’ conference, said, “We’ve no issues with EWS admissions so long as they’re only in Class I, so that with time, the student can catch up, unlike, say, in Class V.”

Though neither education minister nor principal secretary were available for comment, Ramphal Sheroan, secretary of Haryana abhibhavak association, said five parent representatives will be added to the EWS committee, which was formed last week after a meeting between the education minister, education secretary, senior officials from the education department and private school associations.

“We met the education minister and principal secretary to discuss issues delaying admissions under EWS category. He has assured us of action,” said Sheroan, adding the minister assured parents’ representatives that admissions under Rule 134A will be concluded peacefully.

He said the committee formed earlier had been misrepresented, as only a few schools were found representing the whole fraternity. “Now we have representation from most schools in the state, and we’ll make sure we speak for the benefits of not just private schools, but also parents and students,” said Vijender Mann, president of Haryana United Schools Alliance. He added while they have no problem with parents’ representatives, they need to be parents themselves and not representatives.

Source: Times of India

Harayana | Panchkula private schools shut over RTE Act

PANCHKULA: All private schools in Panchkula district were closed on Saturday to highlight their demand to abolish section 134A of Right To Education (RTE) Act that makes it mandatory for them to keep 25% of total seats reserved for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) in each class.

Around 30 private school employees met local MLA Gian Chand Gupta at his house and handed over a memorandum .

Panchkula Public Schools Association also demanded the formation of a separate agency to verify the genuineness of EWS students.

Haryana Public School Association president Kulbushan Sharma said, “There is no parameter to check the genuineness of students. Most parents have prepared fake certificates of EWS. We want students who actually come under this category to take the benefit.”

Yuvsatta co-ordinator Pramod Shamra said, “If schools feel any student has appeared to take admission with a fake certificate of EWS, they should immediately get him or her verified with the help of government officials and expel the student. Private institutions must provide free education to EWS students themselves whether the government puts a compulsion or not.”

Gupta said, “There is a need to have a balance between private schools and government policy. All schools must follow the rule and the government should make an alternative to teach Below Poverty Line (BPL) students in a special batch. I will forward the memorandum to the chief minister.”

The association also demanded 10% quota for Panchkula and Mohali students for admission in Chandigarh schools and colleges. It also said schools should not be charged for commercial water and electricity charges and the life of school buses should be extended from 15 years to 20 years .

Source: Times of India

Harayana | Panel to settle EWS admission row

GURGAON: Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma formed a committee on Tuesday to look into allegations of wrongdoing in school admissions under the economically weaker sections (EWS) category. The committee will also suggest ways to resolve the conflict between Rule 134A of Haryana School Education Act and Right to Education Act.

“A committee has been formed to resolve the conflict ongoing between the schools and parents due to the confusion between the state law and RTE,” said R S Kharab, director, elementary education, Haryana.

Kharab said the eight-member committee would have representatives from private schools apart from state directors of secondary and elementary education.

Some major issues discussed in a high-level meeting included EWS admissions, taxes levied on private schools and their infrastructure norms.

The meeting also saw participation from private schools. Colonel Pratap Singh, president, Haryana schools progressive conference, said, “We appealed for the removal of Rule 134A given that EWS admissions can be done under RTE itself.”

He added that since Rule 134A cannot be annulled immediately, the criteria of means and merit for admissions must be implemented stringently. Private schools highlighted the loopholes in Rule 134A.

“According to the state law, schools are liable to allocate 10% of the total seats to students under the EWS category. However, the same law also mentions that meritorious students should be given preference.”

A case in this regard is already being heard in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Source: Times of India

Panchkula | Private schools shut over RTE Act

Panchkula: All private schools in Panchkula district were closed on Saturday to highlight their demand to abolish section 134A of Right To Education (RTE) Act that makes it mandatory for them to keep 25% of total seats reserved for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) in each class.

Around 30 private school employees met local MLA Gian Chand Gupta at his house and handed over a memorandum .

Panchkula Public Schools Association also demanded the formation of a separate agency to verify the genuineness of EWS students.

Haryana Public School Association president Kulbushan Sharma said, “There is no parameter to check the genuineness of students. Most parents have prepared fake certificates of EWS. We want students who actually come under this category to take the benefit.”

Yuvsatta co-ordinator Pramod Shamra said, “If schools feel any student has appeared to take admission with a fake certificate of EWS, they should immediately get him or her verified with the help of government officials and expel the student. Private institutions must provide free education to EWS students themselves whether the government puts a compulsion or not.”

Gupta said, “There is a need to have a balance between private schools and government policy. All schools must follow the rule and the government should make an alternative to teach Below Poverty Line (BPL) students in a special batch. I will forward the memorandum to the chief minister.”

The association also demanded 10% quota for Panchkula and Mohali students for admission in Chandigarh schools and colleges. It also said schools should not be charged for commercial water and electricity charges and the life of school buses should be extended from 15 years to 20 years .

Source: The Times of India