Nagpur| RTE admissions in state down by 50%

PUNE: Against 1.15 lakh seats available in the state under the Right to Education Act, only 37,000 have been filled so far.

As compared to last year, the number of students from the backward and poor segments seeking admissions to schools has gone down by 50%. Prompted by the poor response, the state education department has appointed a steering committee to study the loopholes in the process, though it is quite evident that going online has had a negative impact.

The state education department started online admissions last year in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur etc. This year, it was extended to the entire state.

Experts say that lack of awareness among parents and students and also the state government’s failure in propagating it the right way are responsible for the poor response. Activist Matin Mujawar said, “The scheme is essentially for the economically backward. Most parents are construction workers, migrants, security persons among others who are illiterate about the online process. This was pointed out to the education officers, but they insisted on continuing with the online process. The results were on expected lines.”

A total of 77,000 applications were received. Of them, only 37,000 admissions have been completed so far.

The admission process is plagued by several problems.Over 10 schools in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad refused to admit students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act last year, following which the education officers filed a police case against the school managements. The education department later asked the officers to withdraw these cases. Many schools’ management have complained of not getting reimbursement from the state government against admissions.

Source : The Times of India

Nagpur | 44% vacant RTE seats in Nagpur division hint at goof up

Nagpur: Recently CBSE has cancelled the affiliation of six schools from Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka for forging documents to put an exemption from the provisions of RTI act. Now sources said that similar malpractice is being adopted by many CBSE schools in Nagpur to do away with the provisions of Right To Education (RTE). Atleast the number of vacant seats under RTE in Nagpur division clearly hints at the goof up.

A report published in a leading daily figured out that an astounding 44% seats in Nagpur division schools under the free Right to Education (RTE) Act quota remain vacant this year even after multiple rounds for admission.

The six districts under Nagpur division have put up a dismal RTE performance going by the latest data, with only Nagpur city offering some face-saving solace with 27.21% seats remaining vacant. Gadchiroli district fared the worst with 84.82% vacant seats. It is suspicious that of the total 12,390 RTE seats available in the district, only 6,984 have been filled.

Education deptt sings the other way…
Education officials feel that the reason seats are remaining vacant is because parents want the free admission only in select schools. The officer, who did not want to be named considering his top bosses from Pune are arriving in Nagpur for a two-day seminar, said, “The entire rush and aggressive stance taken by parents is only for a few CBSE and state board schools. If they do not get admission there then they’ll go for a government-aided school.” Education activists feel that all these seats can be filled if only a proper process is followed.

Transparency is need of the hour
Shahid Sharif, chairman of an NGO RTE Action Committee said, “Currently we are holding a completely online lottery system. I understand that having an online interface is crucial if one needs to have transparency. However, after the second or third rounds all vacant seats should be filled up manually. Government guidelines clarify that admission lottery needs to continue till all seats are filled. The question, however, is why follow the lottery system when availability of seats is much more than admission seekers.” Another issue needs to be looked into is the role of advisory committee, Sharif said adding, “An advisory committee has been constituted, but it hardly meets. There should be frequent discussions on how to take the RTE admission process forward without which there cannot be proper feedback.”

He also added that going online was not a wise decision. “First, they (authorities) said that schools only in urban areas will see online admissions but now everyone is included. In rural areas, there is hardly any comfort level of people with the online world. Remember we are talking about a poor farmer or a daily wage labourer. These are the people who actually require, and qualify, for free admissions,” said Sharif.

Source : Nagpur Today

Draft National Edu Policy alarms minorities

The draft National Education Policy (NEP), being framed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), seems to be ringing alarm bells among the minorities. The Committee for Evolution of NEP, constituted by MHRD under the chairmanship of T S R Subramanian, former Union Cabinet Secretary, has recommended that “the issue of extension of Clause 12 (1) ( C ) of the RTE Act to minority institutions needs a review. The Committee feels that the larger national obligations to meet the rights of economic weaker sections should extend to all institutions, including minority (religious and linguistic) institutions.”

The MHRD, which came out with “some inputs for Draft National Education Policy,” has also echoed the high-powered panel’s view that “the issue of extension of Clause 12 (1) ( C ) of RTE Act to government-aided institutions (religious and linguistic) will be examined in view of larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections.”

Discussing the issue of 25 percent reservation for weaker sections and disadvantaged groups under the Right to Education Act, the Subramanian Panelsuggests application of EWS Quota to religious and linguistic minority institutions. The panel notes that “minority (religious and linguistic) schools have been exempted from the RTE by the Supreme Court under Article 30 of the Constitution, as per the finding in Pramati Educational and Cultural Trust Vs Union of India. ” It goes on to add that “surprisingly, even aided minority schools have been given exemption; not surprisingly, there has been reportedly a marked increase in schools seeking minority status post this judgement!”

This way, the panel virtually mocks at Supreme Court judgement pronounced by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising then Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justices A K Patnaik, S J Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra and F J I Kalifulla in May 2014. While upholding the RTE Act 2009, the bench, inter alia, had exempted minority schools, both aided and unaided, from the purview of the Act on the ground that minority schools could not be put under legal obligation to provide free and compulsory elementary education to children who were not members of the minority community which had established the school.

“In our view, if the RTE Act is made applicable to minority schools, aided or unaided, the right of the minorities under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution will be abrogated. Therefore, the (provision of the) 2009 Act, which made it applicable to minority schools, is unconstitutional,” the bench observed.

The apex court’s verdict seems to have caused consternation to Subramanian Committee which claimed that “even given the current legal status, the question remains moot about a constitutionally permissible balance involving Article 21 (A), Article 15 (4) and Article 30. It is to be noted that the right under Article 21 (A) has been constricted under the present legal interpretation.”

“Indeed, it can be argued with some merit that the responsibility to provide free and compulsory education of satisfactory quality to children from disadvantaged and weaker sections would extend to not only government schools but also on schools not dependent on government funds. There is a likelihood that the present legal dispensation is a result of an earlier apex legal finding relating to higher education, now inducted to include elementary education in its scope and interpretation,” the panel pointed out.

The panel goes further and says “without entering into the legal aspects, it is now important to reconcile the right of the economically weaker sections with the right of the minorities under Article 30 (1), particularly when minority institutions often appear to clutch at any prop to ensure that their obligations, met by other aided or unaided schools, are circumvented.”

In fact, the high-powered committee seems to question the rationale of Article 30 which deals with the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, particularly Sub-section (1) which enjoins that “all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”

 The panel erroneously seems to treat the minorities, particularly Muslims, as educationally and socio-economically forward communities vis-a-vis “the economically weaker sections.” It also appears oblivious to substantive empirical data on the economic, social and educational backwardness of minorities, particularly Muslim community, as brought out by umpteen official panels and surveys, including Gopal Singh High-Powered Committee, Sachar Committee, Ranganath Misra Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, several rounds of NSSO Surveys, and the reports of various BC Commissions constituted by various States all over the country from time to time. The panel does not even rely on the educational profile of minorities that emerges from the Census data for 2011 and the latest statistics of the District Information System on Education (DISE).
 Betraying its real motives, the panel insists that “this issue (of exempting minority institutions from RTE) needs further examination and clarification, not only to expand the scope of reaching out to EWS students, but also to ensure that minority institutions are established only for the genuine reasons envisaged by the Constitution-that they are actually designed to meet the basic objective to meet the predominant needs of minorities – that they do not use their ‘Constitutional’ privilege to manoeuvre out of national obligations established in overall public interest. The same issues need to be addressed in the case of linguistic minority schools, in a likewise manner.”

Mumbai |Pathetic no. of admissions in RTE round 3

Mumbai : The date for admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act was extended from September 5 to September 10 owing to the extremely low admissions registered in the third and last round, as the round came to an end.

There were just 61 admissions under the 25% seats that the Act mandates the private unaided schools to give underprivileged children. 891 children had been allocated seats. This comes to just 7% of the total.

It is not clear what the status of the remaining children is, though it is assumed that they have not approached the allotted schools.

An official from the BMC’s education department that conducts and oversees RTE admissions said that, the department has done its duty of extending the dates. “It is the responsibility of the parents to approach the schools. For children to come to BMC schools, we go door-to-door, but in this case they have to go to the private schools,” he added.

“Maybe they have not got the school of their choice,” he explained.

It is to be noted that it is over two months since schools have reopened and the RTE admission process is still on-going. Two previous rounds had been delayed because some schools had refused to give admissions or had failed to update the status of admissions in their systems, until which the next round could not be held.

Source : The Free Press Journal

Ghaziabad | Ensure admissions under EWS, Gzb admin tells private schools

GHAZIABAD: The district administration of Ghaziabad has issued directions to private schools to ensure admission of students, belonging to disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, under quota of seats reserved for them.

The directions were issued in a meeting held by district magistrate Nidhi Kesharwani with principals and managers of two dozen schools in Ghaziabad on Monday.

The meeting was summoned after the district education department received complaints against eight schools who denied admissions to students, referred by the department, under various reserved categories.

Following the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, the basic education department of the Uttar Pradesh government issued orders specifying various disadvantaged groups and weaker sections who can seek free admission in private schools up to a maximum limit of 25 per cent of total seats available.

The disadvantaged groups include children belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category, specially-abled, those from the socially and educationally backward sections, whose parents are affected with HIV or cancer, the homeless and orphans. Weaker section category includes children from below poverty line (BPL) families, whose parents are recipients of disability, old age or widow pension as well as those children whose families’ annual income does not exceed Rs 1 lakh.

“There was lack of clarity among the schools regarding various categories under which admissions can be provided to students in accordance with the government orders. These issues were clarified. The schools have assured they will ensure admission to students wherever they meet the criteria for the specified categories,” DM Nidhi Kesharwani told TOI.

Source : The Times of India

Tamil Nadu: Enrolment under RTE Increased

New Delhi August 11 (ENA) Minister for School Education P Benjamin informed that admission of children from disadvantaged sections under the Right to Education (RTE) Act has increased over the past three years in 2015-16.

Mr.Benjamin further said, the awareness programme organized by the Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan on RTE helped to increase the enrolment rate of children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections in self-financing schools. The Directorate of Matriculation Schools (DoMS) is the nodal agency for the implementation of RTE Act. It has developed a comprehensive manual on RTE Act and Tamil Nadu RTE Rules, 2011 which has been issued to all schools. It has also disseminated the provisions of the Act to all principals of matriculation schools as well as parents in collaboration with the SCERT. In addition, the DoMS ensures the issuance and collection of filled in forms for admission of children under 25 per cent reservation as stipulated under RTE Act through the district level offices.

The minister also informed that rainwater harvesting is also ensured in all the school. (ENA Bureau)

Source : ENA

Bengaluru | State asks CBSE to cancel affiliation of 6 NPS schools

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to withdraw the affiliation of six schools run by the National Public School group in Bengaluru and Mysuru.

The request was made after it was found that the group produced “fake”minority status documents to avoid giving up 25% seats under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. The DPI sent the request last week.

Six schools in trouble

The six schools that will be in trouble in case the CBSE decides to honour the Department of Public Instruction’s request are National Public Schools in Rajajinagar, Indiranagar, Koramangala, HSR Layout, Mysuru and the NationalAcademy for Learning, Basaveshwara Nagar, Bengaluru.

A month ago, the Department of Public Instruction had directed filing of criminal complaints against the six schools when the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions pointed out that the group had produced fake documents.

Source : Deccan Herald

Shivamogga | Govt schools facing student shortage due to RTE: MLA

Shivamogga: JDS MLA YSV Datta said implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act in Karnataka has pushed many government schools on the verge of closure.

Speaking at a programme of Private School Teacher’s Forum at Shivamogga on Tuesday, Datta, said the state government has been paying around Rs 500 crores to private schools every year for admitting students under RTE quota. This has led to the shortage of student s in government schools. Several states have not implemented the Act to protect government schools there, but in Karnataka, the situation is completely opposite, Datta said urging the government to reconsider its stand on RTE. He also urged the government to review its faulty rules framed for regulating private educational institutions.

Source : The Times of India

Mumbai | RTE admission: BMC holds third lottery for needy students

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) education department on Wednesday conducted the third lottery for students from the Economically Weaker Section for the 25% quota admission under the Right to Education Act. After the first and second lotteries, so far, 2,423 students have got confirmed admission.

In the first lottery held on April 20, 3,411 students got selected for 6,561 seats. Out of the selected ones, 2,050 got admission.

In the second lottery held on July 4, out of the 1,618 students selected, only 373 got through.

The total number of seats in pre-primary schools is 3,359; Std I seats in 317 schools are 6,305. Out of the 317, 274 are state board schools and 43 of other boards.

Nearly 68 schools, in which there were 1,618 seats, received zero application. After the third lottery, the dates for admissions in the allotted schools are from August 26 to September 5. Parents will have to take a printout of the allotment letter from their application login and go to the allotted schools with original documents.

Source : dna

Mumbai |891 kids get RTE seats in third lottery

Mumbai: A total of 891 children from poor families were allotted seats in private schools under the Right to Education Act, in the third online lottery on Wednesday. They have got seats at the entry level in unaided non-minority schools across the city.

According to the BMC education department, the students have been allotted 1,008 seats, with some of them being given the choice of more than one school. Parents must approach the schools by September 5 to confirm the admission.

 As many as 105 RTE seats in some non-state board schools in the city are still vacant as the schools have been turning away students for various reasons. “If schools refuse admission to students despite having right documents, the parents can approach BMC or the school education department,” said Nisar Khan, education inspector, BMC.
In the first and second lotteries conducted in April and July, 2,423 students secured admission in various schools.