RTE reimbursement goes down; leaves Rajasthan private schools jittery

JAIPUR: Private schools in Rajasthan have raised objection to the sharp decline in reimbursement on account of admissions under the Right to Education. Rajasthan is the only state in the country which has slashed the RTE reimbursement per unit twice in the last two years. Per student reimbursement has been slashed from Rs 17,500 in 2015-16 to Rs 13,945 in 2017-18 leaving the private schools jittery. The per unit expenditure in 2016-17 was Rs 15,029.
The reimbursement for RTE is similar to the cost spent by the state on students enrolled in its schools. The expenditure is calculated by dividing the total expenditure spent on students from class I to VIII. The expenditure is calculated on the basis of salaries paid to teachers, grant for facilities to schools up to upper primary and cost on books.

Damodar Goyal, president of Society for Private Unaided Schools in Rajasthan says that the clear impact of the slash will leave schools with no choice but to increase the fees. “Schools have no choice to fill the financial burden from the remaining students or non-RTE students. The cost of every single article in the country is rising so the expenditure per child by the private schools is rising,” said Goyal.
A private school requesting anonymity says that even if they don’t count a single penny on anything other than the salaries of their teachers their expenditure shot by 5% to 8%. “As every hardworking employee expects a reward in terms of annual increment so the teachers and staff expect the same. The reimbursement which we receive does not make even 20% of the annual fee we charge,” said a principal of a private school.
Explaining the reduction in reimbursement, a government official explains that the state has added around 18 lakh students in last 3 years with rationalization of teachers and closing down of several hundred schools has reduced the per child expenditure. “The correction in per unit cost to continue for couple of more years before the cost will rise,” said a government official.

The state has highest number of students admitted under the RTE. The cumulative figure is around 7 lakh students across the state. State pays reimbursement in two instalments to private schools after several rounds of verification of students.

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | Rajasthan government holds draw of lots for RTE admission

Jaipur: While the new academic session has just begun in many of the private schools, the state government has also stepped up efforts to complete the admission process for students from weaker section and disadvantaged group in private schools for 2016-17 session under Right to Education Act.

Education minister Vasudev Devnani on Thursday held draw of lots for admission of economically backward section students in private schools for 2016-17session . The draw of lots was conducted to generate a list on the basis of which admissions to the students will be given in private schools.

The beneficiaries include, children of war widows, children of people living with HIV/cancer, orphans, differently abled children.

Devnani said that after completing the list for online applicants, the parents of the students, who have applied online and off line, will have to report at the particular school and fill a reporting form by May 4.

He said that the parents who have applied online will have to report at the school with reporting form and also with a hard copy of the application form with necessary documents . They have to submit all of them in the school. After this, admission process will begin.

The applications which will be rejected due to technical reasons and for not fulfilling the eligibility criteria will be informed through SMS containing the reason for rejection. He said that the government is taking all measures to ensure that the desired candidates will get the admissions for free and compulsory education in private schools.

 He said over 18,286 private schools took part in the online draw of lots.All the private schools applied for online draw of lots received 1,59,063 applications in total of which 59,262 received online and 99,801 offline. There number of male applicants was higher in comparisons to their female counterparts. Out of 1,59,063, as many as 86,991 were males and 72,069 were females and three of them were transgender.
 Among them 37,867 belonged to BPL, 97,084 belonged to SC and 21,236 belonged to ST. There were 620 of those who are orphan, 659 applicants are children of people living with HIV/caner. Also, 528 belonged to children of war widows. Moreover, 1069 differently abled children also applied for admission under RTE.
The private schools have to give admissions to at least 25% of the strength of that class at the entry level for the children belonging to disadvantaged group and weaker section.

Jaipur | New rule may reduce RTE admissions in state by half

Jaipur: Lower middle-class families would no more be able to see their wards in elite private schools under the Right to Education Act. The Rajasthan government has cleared that only those families/parents under general and OBC categories which have BPL cards will be eligible to apply for the RTE lottery this year. Parents belonging SC and ST categories have been exempted from the ruling.

It means that even self-reliant SC/ST parents can apply for RTE admissions under this category.

The earlier law was that families whose annual income was Rs 2.5 lakh or less were eligible to apply for RTE admissions. Senior education official, requesting anonymity, said that the move came after they found that both schools and people have abused the law by showing ghost admissions and fake income certificates.

“We conducted a probe at around 4,000 private schools which were under scanner for abusing RTE rules. We found that many schools had shown inflated number of students admitted in the normal course so that their intake in RTE category which is 25% of normal admissions also rises,” said the officer.

He also stated that they have come across many families who are maintaining independent bungalows and cars and yet their kids are studying under RTE Act. “The decision has been taken to make judicious use of the taxpayers’ money,” said the officer.

 Rajasthan is leading the country in terms of RTE admissions with over six lakh admissions since 2010-11. The state pays a maximum of Rs 17,500 per child expenditure to private schools on account of RTE admissions.
The decision would likely reduce the number of admissions in the RTE quota almost by half in year 2016-17.
Experts say that this ruling will come as a blow for the urban poor who doesn’t own a BPL card. “The biggest challenge is that most of the urban poor families don’t have BPL cards. The state should devise some mechanism other than BPL card to ascertain their economic status to widen the eligible criteria,” said Mohammad Ameen, a social activist.

Jaipur | Govt wants to tweak RTE to benefit BPL students

Jaipur: The state education department has proposed major changes in the Right to Education (RTE) Act. It wants that only BPL card holder families should benefit from the 25% quota in admissions meant for economically weaker sections. In the present system, schools are admitting students from families having annual income up to Rs 2.5 lakh on quota seats.

The department has proposed an amendment in order to allow admissions of only those students who belong to the BPL families.

The income criterion of 2.5 lakh is among the highest in the country. Officials say that higher income slab means a wider population falling under the quota of 25% RTE admissions. The admission is done through the online lottery. So far, 6.20 lakh students have been admitted under this Act since 2010. The government is reimbursing schools at Rs 17,500 per child rate in this academic session.

Official said, “The changes have been proposed as in the lottery, students of many BPL card holder families are left out. The RTE quota is primarily for the poor sections of our society. We have realised that the income cap of Rs 2.5 lakh is way higher when compared slabs specified in other states. It is the main reason why Rajasthan has the highest number of admissions in this quota.” More students under this quota means more burden on the state.Sources said that the move is aimed at minimising malpractices involved in admissions. The state is conducting a probe against over 3,000 schools which had reportedly inflated the number of students admitted under the RTE Act.

According to experts, the problem with the proposal is that only a section of poor possesses BPL cards.

Pranjal Singh, an RTE activist, said, “The 25% RTE quota guarantees admissions under separate heads – weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. The former includes a child belonging to such parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than the minimum limit specified by the government through notification. The ‘disadvantaged groups’ mean children belonging to social and educationally backward classes like SCs, STs and OBCs.”

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | Introduce MIS for transparency in Right to Education

Jaipur: Social activist Nikhil Dey asked the central and state governments to bring transparency in the monitoring of the Right to Education Act-2009 by introducing online Management Information System (MIS) – similar to MGNREGA.

Dey was delivering an address at the RTE conference organized by Ajit Foundation in association with UNICEF, Jaipur, to mark the fifth year of the act being in force, on Saturday.

Dey said, “The absence of a transparent system like MIS is a deterrent in monitoring RTE. The non-availability of data and information like number of teachers, enrollments, attendance, infrastructure facilities, and number of single teacher schools in public domain has made it difficult for anyone to check the RTE compliance.”

He questioned the credibility of District Information System for Education (DISE) which collects the data from every state and releases it. “The methods they have been using for collecting information have become outdated in the wake of technological advancement. Ideally, every school should submit its monthly progress report and make it available in the public domain via MIS,” said Dey, who has been batting for transparency in the monitoring system of RTE.

Dey also questioned the claims made by state education minister Vasudev Devnani of adding nine lakh more students in state schools in the current session. He said, “I found it very unusual to digest the claims made by the minister at a time when enrollments in state schools have reduced by 12 lakh in the last four years. Even if we believe the minister, can he explain how and where these students were admitted when no new teacher or infrastructure like chairs, tables, etc, were added in the last one year?”

Interestingly, Devnani has been repeatedly claiming to have added nine lakh students in the 2015-16 session but has never revealed the final enrollment figure.

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | Disclose status on other provisions of RTE also

Jaipur: Private schools have accused the state education department of using Section 12 (1) (C) which guarantees 25% admission to economically weaker sections in private schools as a yardstick for the success of Right to Education Act-2009 in Rajasthan.Taking exception of the government officials who boast of the state as leading in the country with admission of 6.20 lakh students in private schools since 2010, they (private schools) have asked the state to disclose the status on other provisions of the Act concerning government schools.

Damodar Goyal, the president of Society for Private Unaided Schools in Rajasthan, said, “It is becoming a popular belief that RTE is also about Section 12 (1) (C) of RTE.On the contrary it means providing quality education by improving state education”. Goyal was addressing the audience at RTE conference at Shiksha Sankul on Saturday .

Goyal said that the state machinery is so obsessed with admissions in private schools that they’ve forgotten that in the last four years the government schools have lost about 12 lakh children. He said that the state recognized private schools as key stakeholders in achieving the objectives of RTE but ignored them when guidelines were formulated. The two-day con ference has been organized by Abhyuthanam, an NGO and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

While speaking on the contribution that the health department can make, Neeraj K Pawan, additional director, National Health Mission pro posed to create awareness about RTE at all hospitals and PHCs (primary health centres) that come under the he alth department. “Our department will encourage all employees who will qualify for the admission under the Act,” said Pawan.

Pranjal Singh, head of Abhyuthanam, said, “No doubt Rajasthan is leading in the country and can continue to do so if private schools campaign in favour of admissions under this Act”.

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | Slum kids living edu dreams via RTE

Jaipur: Every morning over 20 children dressed neatly, with holding new bags and new pair of shoes head towards elite private schools in Jagatpura may look normal to anyone. They, however, comes from Madari-ki-Basti, a slum area in Jagatpura occupied by rag pickers, jugglers, magicians and rickshaw pullers.

Until a month back, these children were either picking rags or learning the art of juggling. Education in an elite private school was a distant dream for these kids but they achieved this due to Right to Education Act (RTE).

Six-year-old Malik Bano has been a part of her father’s juggling profession from the past two years. She has covered every corner of the town performing acrobatics skills on the roadside juggling shows. Living in a 6*10 feet shanty with plastic cover on the top, Bano’s parents has never dreamt of her going to a school where children come from bungalows has come true.

Since July 4, Bano is a student of Duckling International School in Pratapgarh thanks to the RTE Act. Bano wakes up early, takes a bath, dresses up and happily walks towards the school singing nursery rhymes. “I love my school. It is very big. And I don’t have to do any painstaking acrobatics anymore,” said elated Bano, whose father has now decided not take her in his roadshows anymore.

Madari-ki-Basti slum is surrounded by posh localities. It literally has no drainage system, proper roads and dumping ground. Here most of the children aged under 10 are malnourished and waterborne diseases are very common. Reportedly 16 other students from shanties and khucha houses have been selected in the lottery of RTE conducted by the state government.

Another success story comes from the two room kucha house at the corner of this slum. Sons of differently abled parents –Nischay and Nishant — were spending most of the time playing in the garbage until they were admitted in private schools Krish Cambridge and Ankit Public School, respectively under this Act.

It is very early to access the change but their parents say that they now love to spend time at home painting, drawing and learning alphabets and numbers.

Mukesh, a father of the duo has polio and earns a livelihood by driving auto rickshaw. He earns barely enough to feed his family two meals a day. Seeing them going to school is a unimaginable moment for him.

The winds of change blowing here are results of a group of individuals headed by a law student Pranjal Singh who has disseminated the information about the RTE admissions, assisted them in filing online and offline admissions and now ensures that these children go to school.

“This slum existed from last 35 years but nothing has changed. With these kids getting quality education will change the face of this slum.” He informed that 40 students from this slum were selected for the admissions more than half of them failed to submit the documents on time.

Source: The Times of India

Rajasthan | Rajasthan education department orders fresh lottery for RTE seats in 14K schools

Jaipur: The state education department on Saturday ordered a fresh round of lottery in 14,000 private schools which didn’t receive a single application seeking admission under the Right to Education Act. TOI had reported that in 14,000 private schools out of total 33, 500 schools in the state did not receive a single application of RTE. The report appeared on May 9 issue, titled ‘Admissions Likely on RTE vacant seats.’

This decision would mean that another 1.5 lakh students will be benefitted under the RTE quota of admissions in private schools. Already, state has admitted over 2.20 lakh students under this act in the academic session 2015-16 in the two-phased admission process, which started in March till April. During this two-phased admission process, TOI reported that 14,000 schools have not received a single admission form.

Our probes stated that most of these schools had not properly disseminated the information regarding RTE Act and are located in the outskirts of the city. It also came to light that most of these schools had not complied with the RTE guidelines by holding posters and banners disseminating informing about admissions.

The second biggest reason is that most of the beneficiary families are not aware of any such law for them. Of total 14, 000 left out schools, highest number of 1, 100 were from Jaipur followed by 900 schools in Alwar and 800 in Sikar.

The order stated that last date of submitting offline admission forms is July 8 at private schools and online forms can be submitted on the RTE website: rte.raj.nic.in till July 9. The names of successful candidates will be declared via computerized lottery on July 10.

Social groups working for RTE have welcomed the decision but raised concern over the short time period given by the government to fill admission forms. Pranjal Singh, an RTE activist, said, “Majority of the beneficiaries aren’t aware of this scheme. It needs time to popularize this scheme.” The scheme of left out schools are yet not available on the RTE website which is another area of concern as parents are not aware that seats in which school is vacant.

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | RTE hits enrolments in govt schools

Jaipur: The Right to Education Act-2009 (RTE) quota is fast eating away into enrollment in government schools.

With admission of 2.20 lakh children from the economically weaker sections (EWS) in private schools under the Right to Education Act-2009 for the session 2015-16, the intake in government schools will be reduced further. The admission process for EWS students in private schools, through a centralized admission process concluded on Tuesday.

According to the district information system for education (DISE) report between 2011-12 and 2013-14, enrolment in government schools has declined from 71 lakh to 64 lakh students. The difference of seven lakh students from state schools went on to enroll in private schools where figures jumped from 51 lakh in 56 lakh in same period. Incidentally, admissions for EWS children in private schools under RTE-2009 in the same period was 4.60 lakh.

Source: The Times of India

Jaipur | Many schools reluctant to give admissions under RTE

JAIPUR: The admissions for the 25% reserved seats under Right to Education Act-2009 for economically weaker sections (EWS) has already begun in the state. The state has formed a centralized admission process for estimated 2.5 lakh seats under the Act in 33,500 private schools across the state. The online form is available on www.rte.raj.nic.in

The norm says that beneficiaries (parents or guardians) can apply online and offline forms for admissions and can choose up to 10 schools of their choice in the form. The list of successful candidates will be decided by the government through lottery. The last date for the offline forms is March 21 and online is March 25. The offline forms are for those parents who cannot access the Internet. They can download the forms or collect from the school and submit to any of the schools. These schools have to submit them online.

Many schools are expressing ignorance over the admission process initiated by the state for economically weaker sections. While others are not accepting offline forms stating that they have filled the RTE quota during their admission process. “Many schools are not accepting my form. They are saying that they have already admitted students under this quota,” said Arvind Sharma, a parent, who is seeking admission under this scheme.

Source: The Times of India