Bengaluru | RTE misuse caught in court

Bengaluru: The allegations of Right To Education (RTE) Act being misused by those who can afford to pay for their children’s education, while the deserving being left out, is not uncommon. In one incident that came before the High Court, parents took some very desperate measures to get their child enrolled in a school.

The case came up before Justice HG Ramesh. A six-year-old, represented by her father, B Shankar, approached the HC, after a city school denied her a seat, despite it being allowed by the education department. Apart from the education department and its officials, the Vidya Samskar Public School in Machohalli, was made the respondent. The government advocate told the court that the child was allotted the seat on the basis of an application where she was described as a ‘street child’. But this was definitely false. The girl’s advocate, too, did not dispute the fact that she was not a ‘street child’. The court said that the allotment made was based on a false representation and therefore the school denying the admission, cannot be faulted. The petition by the girl was dismissed.

This is not a one-off case. As many as 90 % of the seats allotted under RTE in private schools, are based on false certificates (mostly income certificates), say people in the know. CR Mohammed Imtiaz, president of the Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institute Management Federation, speaking to Mirror, said, “Block education officers allot seats for (advantaged) children saying they are poor. For ten years these kids get free education in the school. RTE has opened up an easy avenue for corruption.”

What Rules Say

* In Karnataka, the eligibility for RTE seats is that the child should be from ‘disadvantaged groups,’ or ‘weaker sections’.

Disadvantaged Groups

1. Scheduled Class 2. Scheduled Tribe 3. Backward Classes 4. Category I 5. Category II A 6. Category II B 7. Category III A 8. Category III B 9. Orphan 10. Migrant and street children 11. Child with special needs 12. HIV infected/affected

Weaker Sections

* Children from castes and communities which are not in the disadvantaged categories but whose parents/guardians have an annual income less than Rs 3.5 lakh.
* Out of the 25 percent seats in schools reserved for RTE students, 7.5 percent is for scheduled castes and 1.5 percent for scheduled tribes. The remaining 16 percent is for other categories.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

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