Gujarat: RTE intake from last week of February

AHMEDABAD: The admissions procedure for school seats under Right to Education quota, will begin in the last week of February. The admission process will be online this year as well. The process has been delayed by more than three weeks this years.
Last year, admissions began on February 4. The dates published this year show that online admissions will begin in the last week of February. The education department has asked the district education officers and district primary education officers to prepare a detailed action plan, including details of availability of seats at each school. The plan has to be read by February 15.
The board has also decided that the helpline number and concerned official’s number will be displayed on the website so parents can contact the officials directly.
The board has also sent emails to schools seeking details of the total number of seats and the number available under RTE. The board has also asked officials in each district to carry out a through investigation into the background of each set of parents before granting RTE admissions.
The education department recently handed over papers submitted by 250-odd sets of parents — who faked poverty on paper, to secure admission for their wards at schools of their choice — to the police, to begin criminal action against them. This is the first time police action will be taken against well-off parents for forging documents to take advantage of a scheme meant for poor children.

Source: The Times of India

Gujarat: New schools must give admission under RTE: High Court

In an important ruling, the Gujarat High Court has held that newly opened schools in the state must give admission to underprivileged students under the 25 per cent quota envisaged under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The court has also directed the government to contemplate action against educational institutions that flout the RTE law that came to force in 2009.

There are some 300 new schools that were given approval to start academic activity from 2017. However, their details had not been uploaded in the list of schools, thus excluding them from the RTE admission. The court issued direction following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by petitioner Sandip Munjyasara raising issue of newly opened schools being not mentioned on the online portal meant for RTE admissions. He filed the plea in court on November 22, 2017. He stated before the court that the state government had subtly skipped mentioning new schools on the web portal and this could facilitate the new schools to not perform their mandatory responsibility to give admission to the students from economically marginalized families.

He further submitted that all schools, irrespective of old or new, should grant admission to the poor students under the 25 per cent quota. However, authorities’ failure to upload the relevant details benefitted the schools. “The court has issued an important judgment regarding the new schools and they should not skip the admission process under the RTE act,” said Munjyasara. He further added that earlier, he had sought details of the newly approved schools from the government but it had not provided to him. “During the hearing, it came to light that there were some 300 new schools. Students were deprived of getting admission to these schools,” he said.

Source: Ahmedabad Mirror

Ahmedabad | RTE: Gujarat HC stays DEO’s order of slapping fine on school

Ahmedabad: Gujarat high court has temporarily stayed the Ahmedabad district education officer’s (DEO) order of slapping a fine of Rs4.60 lakh on Rachana School in Shahibaug for allegedly denying admission to 11 students under the 25% quota for the poor enlisted in the Right to Education Act (RTE).

 The HC has stayed DEO’s order till June 27, when further hearing would take place.
 The school authorities moved the HC after the penalty was imposed on the school last month. DEO also threatened to cancel the NOC given to the school for the CBSE affiliation.
For denying admission to 11 students under quota for poor kids, the school management stated that the parents of these students were not from poor background, but, from well-to-do families. The school authorities claimed that many of these students lived in bungalows and their household electricity bills ranged from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000.
Last year, the High court had to intervene on the subject of free admission for poor students to class 1 in private schools under the RTE laws. It was in response to two PILs which stated that private schools were not granting admission to poor kids under the quota. It was alleged that the law was not followed by those schools, which were selected as model schools in the city to implement this welfare scheme.

Ahmedabad | Priority admission at nearest school for RTE kids

Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad District Education Officer has decided that students seeking admission under Right to Education (RTE) Act will be given preference at schools near their residence or in their wards. The DEO office is also giving the cellphone numbers of liaison officer for admissions.

The city DEO, AK Rathod, said that apart from admission in schools located in children’s respective wards, the DEO will conduct a review each week of admissions at different schools. If there is any problem, it will be addressed immediately, he said.

Rathod further said that the schools had been informed that they cannot charge high fees from the students.

“If any school charges hig fees or asks students for more money, action will be taken against it,” he said.

A total of 14,735 students were given admission under RTE Act in Ahmedabad district. Of these, 10,145 students were granted admission in Ahmedabad city.

 Rathod said a total of 17,000 forms were distributed under RTE but of these, only 11,044 forms were received from applicants. After scrutiny, only 10,145 students were given permission for admission.
The DEO further said that of the 10,145 students admitted under RTE, 2,448 were from BPL card-holding families, 2,741 from Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes; and 2,389 from Other Backward Classes. The rest were general category students, said Rathod.
There are a total 767 school in the city. Of these, 440 are Gujarati medium schools; 77 teach in Hindi medium; 248 in English medium; and there are two Urdu medium schools.
 Ahmedabad rural DEO, Mahesh Mehta, said 4,590 admission were confirmed in 697 schools in the district. He further said that they had not received any complaint regarding admissions so far. “There was only one complaint and that was from Charodi Gurukul where parents had alleged that the school was charging high fees. We spoke to the school and the matter has been sorted out,” said Mehta.

Ahmedabad: Admissions for EWS under RTE increase from 3,712 to 10,145

The number of admissions in Ahmedabad’s private schools under the Right to Education Act, which provides 25 per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), increased from 3,712 in the academic session 2015-16 to 10,145.

As many as 17,000 admission forms were distributed to children belonging to the EWS at 43 centres in Ahmedabad city areas. Out of these, 11,044 forms were returned. While 10,145 forms were approved for admission, 877 were not accepted due to discrepancies.

Among 10,145 forms who have secured admissions, 2,448 are from below the poverty line (BPL), 2,741 belong to SC/ST and 2,389 belong to the OBC class. The admitted students will be placed in the city’s 767 “most sought after” schools, amongst which 440 are Gujarati-medium, 248 are English-medium, 77 are Hindi-medium and 2 are Urdu- medium.

Some schools on the list of CBSE English- medium schools include Riverside English School and Rachna School Sahibaug. Gujarat board schools include Seth C N Vidyalaya, St Kabir, Tripada School, Divan Ballubhai, Jai Somnath High School and Ankur School.

Under this scheme, an amount of Rs 10,000 will be paid to the schools by the government on behalf of the students, and every student will be given Rs 3,000 as educational assistance.

In 2013-15, only 32 students were admitted. In 2014-15, against 1,509 forms distributed, only 604 students took admissions under this scheme.

In the 2015-16 academic session, against 5,693 forms distributed, the number of students who took their examinations in April increased to 3,712. On Monday, 4,593 students were given admissions in 694 private schools under Ahmedabad district panchayat.

Source : The Indian Express

Ahmedabad | RTE quota admissions: 4,593 students get seats in private schools in Ahmedabad

As Many as 4,593 children from economically weaker section (EWS) have been given admission in 694 private schools in Ahmedabad under Right to Education Act’s 25 per cent reservation. A total of 5,100 forms were distributed, out of which 4997 forms were registered.

“Attempt was made to include all schools from all mediums — Gujarati, English and Hindi — this time. A camp has been organised where the admission letters will be allotted to these students on May 11-13 from 10 talukas under the Ahmedabad District Panchayat, the children of the economically weaker families will be given free entry is the first grade in primary schools,” said Ahmedabad District Primary Education Officer M P Mehta.

While the maximum number of students, 60, have been allotted admission in DAV International School, followed by 49 students to SK Mandal Primary School, 45 to Chanakya Primary School and A One Primary School in Juhapura, 40 to Navrang School in Juhapura, 38 to Lotus School in Jodhpur, 37 to Kameshwar Vidyamandir in Anandnagar, 33 to The New Age Primary School in Juhapura and Anand Vidyalaya in Chandlodia.

Other schools across all mediums include Shanti Niketan in Vejalpur, Anand Niketan DPS, Udgam School for Children, Nirman School, Nirman High SChool, St Xavier’s School, Tripada Ghatlodiya.

The admission has been given for areas — Naroda, Nikol, Aadinathnagar, Ranip, Chandlodia, Ramdevnagar, Jodhpur, Vastrapur, Vejalpur, Sarkhej, Makarba, Bopal, Dhuma, Aambli, Gota housing and in the Daskroi Taluka – Lambha, Sabarmati, D Cabin, Kaadi, Sola, Thaltej, Gota, Ognaj, Ramol, Vastral, Bareja.

Source : The Indian Express

Gujarat | Gujarat filled only 6.98 % RTE seats in pvt schools in ’14-15, reveals IIM-A report

WITH only 6.98 per cent seats filled in Gujarat under Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act that mandates 25 per cent reservation for children from economically and socially disadvantaged sections in private unaided non-minority schools, the state fared far behind the national average of 15.12 per cent.

This was revealed Thursday in the report — State of the Nation: RTE Section 12(1)(c) — compiled by the RTE Resource Centre at Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad along with Central Square Foundation, Accountability Initiative and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

 The “top performing” states were Delhi (44.61 per cent), Rajasthan (39.26 per cent), Tamil Nadu (37.75 per cent), Chhattisgarh (32.94 per cent) and Uttarakhand (31.96 per cent). The ‘worst performing’ states all had a fill-rate less than 1 per cent — Andhra Pradesh (0 per cent), Telangana (0.01 per cent), Mizoram (0.21 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (0.79 per cent) and Odisha (0.97 per cent).

In Gujarat, according to the data for 2014-15, against 96,870 seats reserved in private unaided schools, only 6,762 were filled. This is despite the fact that upon finding the widespread inconsistencies in the enforcement of the Act in Gujarat, the Gujarat High Court directed the state government, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and local authorities to sensitise citizens of their right to free and compulsory education as well as their right under Section 12(1)(c) through print media, electronic media.

At the national level, roughly 3.46 lakh seats were filled out of approximately 22.9 lakh seats available under Section12(1)(c), resulting in a fill rate of 15.12 per cent. This is a slight improvement from 3.2 lakh seats filled out of 21.8 lakh available seats (14.66 per cent fill rate) in 2013-14. Prof Ankur Sarin, faculty- Public Systems Group, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and one of the lead authors of the report, said, “Across states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka, civil society has played a critical role in improving the implementation of this provision. They have done so by disseminating information and creating awareness about this policy among beneficiaries, exchanging ideas and generating knowledge among other similar organisations through hubs and networks, supporting the intended beneficiaries in the grievance redressal process and advocating for changes in the policy through collaboration with the state bureaucracy, and public interest litigation.”

The RTE Resource Centre was launched at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad in late 2013 as a response to low enrolment rate through the Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act. The centre served as a platform for student volunteers from IIM and other colleges such as MICA, GNLU, NID, Nirma University among others, to collaborate with civil society organisations such as Manav Sadhna, Sewa, Savera, Aarzoo, Prabhat Educational Trust, ICDS and Shwas to create awareness among communities and help parents in the form filling process. Further, in 2014-15, out of 2.17 lakh schools only 45,996 schools had taken at least one student under this provision. In2013-14, there were 44,158 participating schools out of total 2.06 lakh schools.

One of the reasons for low school participation rate cited in the report was delay in reimbursement to schools for admitting students under this provision.

Source : The Indian Express

Gujarat | Government to give dole to RTE students

Gujarat: The state government has decided that parents of students admitted under the Right to Education Act will be given Rs 3,000 every year for purchase of books and school uniforms. This is in addition to the financial assistance already announced by the Gujarat government.

Officials said that the dole is meant to act as an incentive for parents to send their children to the schools. The government has already extended a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per annum for every student’s school fees. The additional funds will be for purchase of bags, dresses and books. This will help the students admitted under RTE to match with those coming from the well to do families. tnn

Officials of the state education department said 20,000 students have been admitted in the state under RTE. The government has set itself a target of 50,000 students for the year 2016-17.

A senior government official said, “Children of financially-weak families often are forced to take up odd jobs rather than going to school. Many parents are not able to send their children to private schools as they cannot afford to pay fees and other miscellaneous expenditure.”

Earlier this year the government has warned that schools caught violating RTE or denying admission to students under this Act will be penalized with a fine of Rs 10,000 for the first mistake and Rs 25,000 for the next. Any school that caught flouting RTE norms five times will have their affiliation cancelled.

Source: The Times of India

Ahmedabad | Beware of Garib Crorepatis

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Monday directed government officials and school authorities to be circumspect about “garib crorepatis” who exploit the Right to Education (RTE) laws. These crorepatis deploy the “garib” ruse to secure admission for their kids in the quota reserved for poor children.

Acting Chief Justice V M Sahai told the schools and petitioner organizations — which have filed PILs demanding the implementation of the RTE laws — to alert authorities whenever they come across a case of rich people grabbing the free school seats.

The judge also discussed newspaper reports from other cities on such “garib crorepatis”.

The court’s warning came after one of the petitioners, Jagega Gujarat Sangharsh Samiti, highlighted the communication from the principal of Maharaja Agrasen Vidyalaya to the district primary education officer, raising doubts about a parent’s economic status. The principal had pointed out that a Naranpura resident, Chirag Jotwani, paid electricity bill of Rs 2,739 in January but earned monthly income of only Rs 5,000, as certified by the deputy mamlatdar.

The annual income limit set for eligibility to avail RTE benefits is Rs 68,000.

The high court has sought a status report on the implementation of RTE laws in private schools. ACJ Sahai has scheduled the next hearing on August 13. He is retiring a day before that date.

As for the education authorities, they have informed the court that they had received 5,693 applications for admissions in Ahmedabad district. After scrutiny, some 4,754 kids were found eligible and of them over 3,000 have been enrolled in schools. And 1,661 students will get admission under the RTE quota soon, the government pleader submitted.

Source: The Times of India

Vadodara | Students under RTE accuse schools of bias

Vadodara: Parents of students, who were enrolled in a school under the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, have accused the management of discrimination. They have alleged that their children were being kept in separate classes away from other students who were not admitted under the RTE Act.

The schools, however, have denied the allegation and said that since the children enrolled under RTE were weak in studies they were being taught in separate classes.

The Vadodara district education officer (DEO), based on complaints from parents of 22 students of a school located on the VIP road, has initiated inquiry into the matter. Similar allegations have been made against other schools on the VIP Road and Vasna Road, but they have not registered a formal complaint with the DEO.

Under the RTE Act, it is mandatory for private schools to admit at least 25% of children from the weaker sections of the society in class one or pre-primary classes. The RTE Act emphasizes that the children should not be segregated from other children and should not be discriminated in any manner related to provision of entitlements and educational facilities.

“I have received complaints from the parents of 22 children from a school and have ordered an inquiry into the matter. If found guilty, we will take necessary action,” said DEO Navneet Mehta. “We have not received complaints from any other school so far.”

“My child is enrolled in a separate class meant for children from low income backgrounds. Our children have all the right to study in a regular class with other students. They should not be discriminated because of their background,” claimed Abdul Haji, parent of a child enrolled under the RTE Act.

However, school authorities were quick to deny the allegations. “The students who are enrolled in a separate classroom are weak students. We are providing them with remedial teaching to strengthen their basics to prepare them for class one. We have not discriminated them from other students,” said director of one of the schools where students under RTE are made to sit in separate classes.

“There are other schools in the city that are also discriminating against children of the weaker sections of the society,” claimed Sai Dhekane from the IT cell of Vadodara Congress who is also an RTE activist.

Source: The Times of India