Coimbatore | Schools Told to Comply With RTE Norms

Coimbatore: The Inspector of Matriculation Schools here has instructed matriculation schools to ensure 100 per cent admission under the Right To Education (RTE) Act.

According to the Act, 25 per cent of seats in schools have to be reserved for the economically and socially disadvantaged section of students. While these students are not required to pay fees, the government will be reimbursing the fee amount to the schools.

During the monthly review meeting of matriculation schools in the district, Inspector of Matriculation Schools in Coimbatore R Geetha instructed private matriculation schools to achieve 100 percent admission under the Act. “Apart from this, general instructions were given regarding admission norms, ensuring safety of students and about parent-teacher associations,” Geetha said.

Regarding the notice issued to schools which have not enrolled a single child under the RTE Act, Geetha said, “These schools have started sending their responses. Some have stated that they have not received any application under the RTE Act. A few others have agreed to admit students under the RTE Act which is a positive development.”

Sources said that of the 232 matriculation schools in Coimbatore, not even a single student was enrolled under the RTE Act in 24. The Matriculation Directorate has sent show cause notices to these schools asking them why even a single student was not enrolled under the RTE Act. It has also sought explanation from the schools as to why their recognition should not be cancelled.

Source: The New Indian Express

Coimbatore | RTE Act: 24 matric schools in Coimbatore fail to admit even one student

Coimbatore: As many as 24 private matriculation schools in Coimbatore have failed to admit even a single student this year under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which mandated all private schools to set aside 25 per cent of their seats to disadvantaged and weaker sections.

With 276 schools, Coimbatore has among the highest number of matriculation schools for a single district in Tamil Nadu.

Sources in the Directorate of Matriculation Schools told The Hindu on Saturday that the School Education Department began issuing notices seeking explanation within a week’s time. The schools have also been asked to keep the seats vacant as its details would soon be uploaded on to a website, to enable parents to apply .

In Coimbatore, the total number of seats in entry-level classes of L.K.G. and Standard I was 15,546 seats, of which 3,985 have been set aside for RTE Act quota. However, only 2,453 have been filled, according to the School Education Department committee on the RTE Act.

As per Government Order No: 60, private schools must display the list of students admitted under RTE Act by July 17. In schools where the applications exceed available seats, lots must be drawn on July 22. However, unfilled seats must be kept vacant till September-October.

Till this year, implementation of the RTE Act was spotty due to reluctance of private school as they had not reimbursed the fee of students admitted in the past three years. However, with Rs. 97 crore being allocated this year, the State government has begun scrutinising the admission process.

However, R. Visalakshi, president of Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association, questioned this move and said that this amounted to threatening private schools. Such notices should be issued only to schools accused of irregularities in admission process.

“If no parent asks for an application from a private school, how can the institution be held at fault? Such action must be limited to schools charged with not accepting duly completed applications,” she added.

Other board schools

On the other hand, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) youth wing secretary V. Eswaran said that the State government must extend these measures to schools affiliated to other boards such as Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).

“The State government is the implementing authority for the RTE Act. However, both the Chief Educational Officer and the Inspector of Matriculation Schools have said that other board schools do not come under their purview and hence, they cannot collect details of vacant seats in those schools,” he said.

Mr. Eswaran, who has campaigned for implementing this Act, noted that the State government, through the Justice S.R Singaravelu-led Committee, fixed the fees for schools of all boards in Tamil Nadu.

Source: The Hindu

Chennai | Not One Seat Filled Under RTE in Over 150 City Schools

Chennai: More than 150 elementary and matriculation schools in the city have not admitted a single student in the current academic year under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which mandates reservation of 25 percent seats for the socio-economically under-privileged. The latest data of Tamil Nadu Directorate of Matriculation Schools brings out this startling revelation.

The data indicates that elementary schools in the state have filled less than 50 percent of the seats under the RTE quota in 2015-16. Matriculation schools fared better with 63.56 percent seats being filled. (See box)

In Chennai out of the 304 matriculation and 289 elementary schools, 60 matriculation schools and 97 elementary schools have failed to admit even a single student under the RTE quota. Surprisingly, the data also reveals at a few matriculation schools the entry level intake of students itself was nil. A cursory glance of the figures clearly shows that many schools in the state have failed to admit even a single student under the RTE quota in the current academic year.
“Why have these seats not been filled? Have these schools not displayed any boards outside their premises calling for admissions under the RTE or were the people in the area not aware?” were the questions raised by prominent education activist PB Prince Gajendra Babu, who called for strict action against these schools.

On the issue of some schools showing zero intake, he wondered if the data was verified before being made public. “Some big schools have shown only 30 seats as their intake capacity at Lower Kindergarten (LKG) level. One wonders if they have furnished data for only one section,” he said.

Speaking to Express, Directorate of Matriculation Schools R Pitchai said showcause notice would be issued to schools which have failed to admit students under the RTE. “The notice shall be sent very soon,” he added.

last month, Madras High Court had directed the school education department to display the seats available and filled under the RTE quota on its website. Following this, the data was made public on Thursday.

Source: The New Indian Express

Madurai | Details of vacant seats under Right to Education Act may go online soon

Madurai: Officials of the School Education Department said here on Tuesday that details of vacant seats set aside for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act might be made available online.
“We are still waiting for an official announcement. The coordination process and uploading will be carried out in a centralised process at the Directorate of Education in Chennai. By releasing it online, the information will be made more accessible to parents and they can seek admission in schools which still have vacant RTE seats,” an official said.

At present, the School Education Department website only has a detailed list of matriculation schools with the number of seats earmarked under the RTE Act, against the total number of seats.
Under the RTE Act, private schools have to set aside 25 per cent of their seats for children from underprivileged background, whose family’s annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh.

In Madurai, 967 seats are lying vacant across 148 private matriculation schools in the district.

In a bid to keep the public informed about the number of seats vacant under the RTE Act, a list of vacancies as of July 24 has been kept on display at the office of the Inspector of Matriculation Schools here.
“We update the list every 10 days and keep it on display so that the public are aware of the schools they can approach. When compared to last year, the number of admissions under the RTE is higher this year.

Despite the academic year having already begun, parents can still approach the schools if they want admission under RTE,” said M. Govindarajan, Inspector of Matriculation Schools.

Mr. Govindarajan further said that the number of seats vacant in a few schools was high because the public chose to apply for admission under the RTE in only a few schools.
The move to publish the details of vacant seats online is seen as a positive sign.

A few outfits, including the Tamil Puligal, had earlier alleged discrepancies in the filling up of seats under the RTE Act in the district and submitted petitions to the Collector.

Source: The Hindu

Coimbatore | School Education Department committee to handle complaints

Coimbatore: A School Education Department committee that was originally formed to scrutinise private schools’ claims for fee reimbursements of students admitted under Right To Education (RTE) Act, will now handle all private school-related complaints of the parents and public. The committee would conduct meeting on a weekly basis and also as and when any emergency breaks out.

Members

Chaired by the Chief Educational Officer, the committee comprised the Inspector of Matriculation Schools, Chief Educational Officer of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), and the District Educational Officers of Coimbatore and Pollachi, official sources told The Hindu here on Monday.

The scrutiny of RTE fee reimbursement claims began last Monday and was supposed to be completed in a couple of days. However, the scrutiny process has been extended till this Wednesday for Coimbatore.

Some of the common complaints received by the Department include collection of fees in excess of the levels fixed by Justice S.R Singaravelu-led Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, ill-treatment of students who had either not paid the fees or the excess fees demanded by schools, detaining of students for paying fees, complaints over private schools not providing RTE Act admission fees.

The Directorate of Matriculation Schools has submitted a claim for Rs. 5.69 crore towards fees reimbursement of private schools in Coimbatore, which has the largest number of private schools in Tamil Nadu.

Among the recent complaints was against a school in Pollachi, which allegedly refused entry to a student, who had not paid the fees.

Officials went to the school and spoke with both the management and the parents and resolved the issue.

Other issues include dealing with parent’s contention that students admitted under RTE Act need not pay for accessories such as uniform and educational material, which are not covered under the legislation. Further, a School Education Department official said, the major issue facing this committee was the refusal of many private schools to admit students under RTE Act. Till now, private schools had pointed out to the non-reimbursement of fees as the reason behind their reluctance to admit students under RTE Act. However, with the State Government releasing Rs. 97 crore for students admitted in the past two academic years, the official said that private schools now had no reason not to admit students.

Source: The Hindu

Salem | RTE: Private schools in Salem inspected

Salem: Officials of the Education Department on Wednesday began inspecting private schools to check whether admissions were made under Right to Education Act in the last two academic years.

A team led by Chief Educational Officer A. Gnanagowri inspected a private school near Kandampatti Bypass and found total of 36 students studying in LKG and UKG and nine children were admitted under the RTE.

She interacted with teachers and students about the teaching and learning methods adopted in the school.

30 teams

As many as 30 teams have been formed in the district to inspect 412 schools and submit reports about the implementation of RTE by June 22. Under the act, 25 per cent seats are reserved for poor and downtrodden and their fees would be paid by the government to the respective schools. Recently, the State government sanctioned Rs. 97.04 crore to the schools for admitting students during 2013-14 and 2014-15.

In the last two years, protests were held outside few private schools for refusing to admit schools under RTE.

Hence, officials are inspecting the records on the number of students admitted under the RTE and the funds received from the government for the admissions.

Source: The Hindu

Madurai | RTE admissions: NGO finds little compliance by schools

Madurai: TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School has admitted the maximum number of students in LKG under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, according to data revealed through Right To Information (RTI) Act.

People’s Watch, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) here, had sought details from the Department of School Education under the RTI Act of the number of students admitted to educational institutions in Madurai district in 2014-15.

According to the information released by officials, TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School had admitted 75 students.

In all, 156 schools in the district had admitted children in LKG and sixth standard under the RTE last academic year.

Though the Department of School Education officials claimed that they instructed private educational institutions to admit students in RTE as per the norms prescribed by Government of India, lack of awareness among the public and parents had led to poor rate of admission.

Against a target of admitting 2,509 students under RTE by private matriculation schools in 2013-14, a total of 1,103 students alone had benefitted.

Though the target was not achieved in 2014-15, there was moderate improvement as schools had admitted 1,795 students against a target of 2,519 students.

Source: The Hindu

Tamilnadu | Student group to start study circles across TN

Coimbatore: Students Federation of India (SFI) state secretary Rajmohan held a press meet on Friday during which he announced that the federation had decided to start study circles in various educational institutions across the state.

“Private educational institutions are yet to implement the 25 % reservation for students from weaker sections of society. The federation had obtained details of beneficiaries through Right To Information (RTI) Act which revealed that only 2559 students were admitted in various private schools in the state under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. “In contrast to our findings, the school education minister has claimed that 25% reservation has been implemented completely across state schools,” said Rajmohan.

He alleged that the state had failed to take action against private schools for violating the reservation policy. “The BJP is attempting to make the RTE Act redundant. The centre is yet to allot the 30,000 crore subsidy to implement the act. This has affected more than 6 lakh students in Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, the state has failed to take up the issue with the Union government,” said Rajmohan.

He demanded the state ban educational institutions if they violate government fixed fee structures.

“The SFI has conducted several protests against the ban on the Ambedkar-Periyar study circle at IIT-Madras,” he added.

Source: The Times of India

Nagpur | RTE quota only at school entry level in Nagpur: Education secretary

Nagpur: The long standing confusion, that mired Nagpur education officials over Right to Education (RTE) Act’s 25% quota admission, finally got cleared on Thursday following intervention by state’s top bureaucrat from education ministry. Nand Kumar, principal secretary of education ministry who was in Nagpur for a seminar, said, “Full 25% admissions have to be given only at entry point of school. If entry level is pre-primary, then for Std I only vacant and backlog seats have to be filled with RTE candidates.”

This cleared the air over local education department’s complete misinterpretation of a government resolution about giving RTE admissions in pre-primary and primary sections. Nagpur education department erroneously interpreted the directives by asking schools to reserve 25% seats for RTE students in both nursery/KG and std I. In the presence of Anil Pardhi, deputy director of education (Nagpur division), Kumar clarified that doing the latter would amount to 50% RTE reservation.

The other issue was complaints over RTE’s online lottery software, which allotted seats to applicants in a single school at both pre-primary and std I level. Schools complained that they had chosen entry point as nursery and yet they were allotted std I students.

Keen to get to the bottom of the issue, Kumar enquired about the start of problem and immediately called up the education department headquarters at Pune.

Kumar, said, “It is a human error by schools. While filling their online registration form, they keyed in their school statistics at entry point but left std I fields blank. This has resulted in seats being allotment at both nursery and std I level. Now, parents will obviously be angry if they are told that their child cannot be given admission because of some error, but education officials will have to somehow pacify them.”

This will mean immediate relief for schools who were being forced to admit 25% RTE students at both levels and end an almost two-month long standoff.

Kumar was in city to address a select group of teachers and education officials at a seminar on raising the quality of education. Since he himself has a Bachelors in Education, Kumar was able to explain the finer points to his audience. “Education officials will sow the seeds with policy but (teachers) have to act as the Sun, water and wind for it to sprout. Provide them your help and ensure that quality of education increases,” said Kumar.

Karajgaonkar named Nagpur board’chairman:

Hours after Principal secretary (Education) Nand Kumar’s speech, state school education minister Vinod Tawde also landed in city en route to Amravati for an official function.

Speaking at the airport with TOI, Tawde said that Nagpur divisional board will finally get a full time chairman. “I signed the papers just yesterday. (Mahesh) Karajgaonkar will be coming here to take charge,” said Tawde. The post has been lying vacant since August 2013 and no official was interested to take charge in Vidarbha. He also added that for National Law School the government is waiting for vice-chancellor to be appointed by the Supreme Court.

Source: The Times of India

Tamilnadu | Upload RTE info online, HC tells Tamil Nadu

Chennai: The Madras high court on Tuesday asked the state government make available online within three days details regarding admission of students under the Right to Education Act. Details such as how many seats are available in unaided private schools for children from disadvantaged families, how many admissions have been made under the RTE Act so far and what are the norms to fill the remaining seats will have to be uploaded on the state education department’s website.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam also directed the CBSE and Union HRD ministry to submit details about reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the state government in admitting students under RTE Act within four weeks. The court was hearing a petition alleging lack of transparency in RTE admissions and seeking an online single-window system.

Special government pleader (education) G Krishnakumar told the court that in order to spread awareness about the scheme further, the state government has asked all district collectors to issue press releases and advertisements. From now on, district collectors will organize the random selection of students under 25% RTE quota in the presence of education and revenue authorities, he said.

Also, if a school refuses to given application forms to parents, they could collect the forms from the office of chief educational officer or district elementary educational officer or inspector of matriculation schools and submit the filled-in forms in these offices themselves, he said. More importantly, this year application forms could be submitted till June 15, and unfilled seats under the quota would be kept open till November to ensure that the benefit reached all the eligible candidates this year, he said.

As per the RTE Act, every school, including unaided institutions, have to set apart 25% of the available seats for children from poor families. While the beneficiaries need not pay any fee up to Class 10, the state government would pay the schools and get reimbursement from the Centre. As per the scheme, 49,864 students were admitted in schools in 2013-14, involving Rs 25.1 crore as reimbursible fee. In 2014-15, a total of 89,729 students were admitted and fee payable to the schools was Rs 71.9 crore.

On Tuesday, joint secretary in school education department P Alagesan filed a counter-affidavit saying that the Centre had amended rules and denied reimbursement of fee to students admitted in LKG, UKG and Class VI. Noting that a vast majority of students admitted in Tamil Nadu belonged to these categories, he explained how the state did not get any reimbursement for 2013-14 admissions, and is eligible for just Rs 14 lakh for admissions made in 2014-15.

The counter said a total of 16 government orders covering various aspects of the RTE Act had been issued by the Tamil Nadu government since 2010, and added that it would continue to fund education of children from poor families despite the Centre’s reluctance. It said the Centre’s attitude and new amendments would adversely affect children if the expenditure made by the Tamil Nadu government is not reimbursesd.

As for the petitioner A Narayanan’s plea that the government provide free uniform and textbooks for students admitted under the 25% RTE quota, the counter-affidavit said it would take possible steps to get funds from the Centre. It, however, added that the government has been providing free books and uniforms for children admitted in government schools and those run by local bodies. The counter expressed certain difficulties in introducing a single window admission system for RTE admissions, saying it might result in discrimination among RTE beneficiaries.

Source: The Times of India