Ahmedabad | Few takers for top schools under RTE

Ahmedabad: Fearing socio-economic barriers, very few parents have enrolled their kids in premier schools under Right To Education Act, if the thousands of applications received by district education officer (DEO) and district primary education officer (DPEO) are anything to go by. Under the Right to Education Act, schools have to reserve 25 per cent of seats for underprivileged kids with an objective to provide free education.

More than 6,000 admissions were granted to parents who wanted their children to study in government, grant in-aid schools or economicallyviable private schools. Only 300 applications were received from parents wanting their kids to study in premier schools of city. On an average, a school has to allot 25 per cent admissions to class 1 under RTE which comes to approximately 12 students if we consider aclass strength of 48 to 50 in a school. Some of the top schools had 1 or 2 admissions under RTE despite a huge jump in admissions this year.

Compared to last year when 710 such students were enrolled, this year so far, 7,428 admissions were granted. In the admission form, parents had to fill top five choices of schools and submit it to the DEO or DPEO. A total of 8,384 applications were received and 1,213 were rejected because of incomplete documents like missing birth certificate of a child, caste certificate or no address proof. Kanu Patel, a daily wage labourer who enrolled his kid in a government school despite having the option of the best schools in city told Mirror, “I don’t want my kid to face any barriers.

If she would study with kids from rich families, she might get a complex. I want her to study in a school where she is comfortable. So, I enrolled her in a nearby school.” Kanu lives at Ganeshnagar colony in Narol area. Another parent, Molji Chauhan who works at a glass factory enrolled his son in a Hindi medium school in Naroda. Chauhan said, “The good schools are far away and I cannot afford to let him travel 25 km daily just to attend a top class English medium school. Moreover, I don’t have money to pay for his fees after class 8.”

Talking about the reason why parents don’t prefer high-end schools, P K Patel, primary education officer of Daskoi taluka said, “Parents think that the government gives free education until class 8, but after that they will have to bear the costs. So, from class 1 they choose affordable schools in Gujarati or Hindi medium over schools affiliated to CBSE or ICSE.” Praful Jalu, district primary education officer of Ahmedabad district said, “We are not the decision makers. The parents decide where their wards will study. They prefer Gujarati medium schools where their children don’t feel any socio-economic barriers.”

» St Kabir, Drive In Road – 1
» Asia School, Drive in Road – 1
» Tulip International School – 1
» Anand Niketan School, Satellite – 2
» Apple Global School, Satellite – 1
» Tripada International School – 2
» Udgam School, Thaltej – 3
» Delhi Public School, Bopal – 6
» Don Bosco School, Vejalpur – 8
» Zydus School for Excellence, Vejalpur – 10
» Shayona Vidhya Vihar – 11
» Ahmedabad International School, Bodakdev – 13
» DAV International, Makarba – 15
» A-One School, Satellite – 21
» Narayan Guru School, Satellite – 36

Source: Ahmedabad Mirror

Gujarat | Gujarat Govt decides to reimburse students under 25 percent reservation RTE (ACT)

New Delhi: In a recent announcement, the Gujarat Education Department has announced an additional allocation of Rs 3,000 per child apart from Rs 10,000 reimbursement per child to private schools annually. This has been done for the social inclusion of the children under 25 percent reservation for economically weaker section and disadvantaged groups in private schools (Under RTE Act 2005).

An allocation of Rs 12.92 crore has been done for 30,000 students, which is the target set by the Education Department under 25 percent reserved seats in private schools for the academic session 2015-16.  Over 78 percent of this amount, that is 10.20 crore, has been reserved for students from the non-tribal areas. The other 1.81 crore is allotted for students from tribal areas and remaining for children from other reserved categories.

This additional amount is for the provision of school uniforms, shoes, books, transportation facility and school bags among other study material under the reservation norm.

“The main idea behind providing these additional items for the children from disadvantaged groups is that they do not feel left out among children in private schools who come from sound financial backgrounds. This is a step forward for them. This is entirely a state initiative, over and above the reimbursed (Rs 10,000) part to the private schools,” said Mukesh Kumar, commissioner of schools, as reported by Indian Express.

The state Education Department had announced the reimbursement of Rs 10,000 per child annually to the private schools admitting children under the 25 percent reservation norm.


Source: Indiatoday.in

Pune | Leave now, Mundhwa school tells RTE kids

Pune: After gaining minority cert, Orbis school shows quota students the door; govt says it will pay fees

Yet another minority unaided school from the city has come under scanner of the school education department as chaos ensues over admissions for students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The Orbis School in Mundhwa, which received minority status this year, has asked parents of students admitted under RTE into the 25 per cent reserved quota seats to pay fees or leave the school. A total of 25 students study in the pre-primary section of this Keshav Nagar school, admitted under the quota to facilitate education of children from backward socio-economic backgrounds. These students joined the school over the last two years, while it was still a non-minority institution. The minority status certificate came earlier this year, after which the school has shown the door to the students admitted under RTE.

Worried parents recently approached the education officer at the Zilla Parishad (ZP), Mushtaq Shaikh, over the confusion, who wrote a letter to the school forbidding it from taking such action. On Monday, however, at a meeting arranged with all the stakeholders in this matter at the ZP, the school raised certain questions about why it should not do so by law.

When Mirror tried to reach Orbis school authorities for comment, they were unavailable.

One of the affected parents, whose son studies in the play-group in Orbis, told Mirror, “When our child was admitted the school came under the purview of RTE. But this sudden change has put us in a difficult position. The government is confidently stating that the school will have to continue with these students even if they have got a minority status, because their admissions were done before the development. But the school is asking them to show such a provision in the law. In the middle, we remain confused.” Another such parent said, “School admissions are no cake-walk anymore. We got admission to this school a year ago and heaved a sigh of relief. But this year’s RTE admission process has already begun, with just a day left for the deadline. If our child is asked to leave this school, where will she go?”

Shaikh told Mirror, “The school did not have minority status when these admissions were done. Now that they have it, they will not be included in the new RTE admission process, but as per law, they have to continue with these admissions. They will be reimbursed for the fees of these students.”

Recently, two other schools from the city were caught in a similar situation – namely, Vidya Bhavan School and S V Union School. The principal of the former, Fr Godvyn Saldanha, told Mirror, “We have always been a minority school. But when these admissions under RTE were mandated, we had to give admission as per the state government order, as the matter was under litigation in the Supreme Court. It was only later that minority unaided schools were exempted from the clause. We are even not asking students to leave. However, thanks to the government’s unclear statements, we just asked parents to pay the fees. If the government reimburses the amount, it will be given back to the parents. This delay in making decisions has led to the government misleading the public and schools.”

Arekar, principal of the S V Union Primary School, said, “We were deemed a linguistic minority after the RTE admission mandate was passed, and it is no longer applicable to us. But while there are no new admissions now, what about the fees of those admitted before? The government needs to provide some clarifications.”

Source: Pune Mirror

Gujarat | Ahmedabad’s lesson for city: RTE success story at IIM resource centre

Ahmedabad: While parents are bearing the brunt of poorly-implemented RTI admissions in the city, a group of motivated students at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA) are successfully running a Right to Education Resource Centre (RTERC).

Started in 2013, the centre helps parents fill up forms and ensure that they have all the documents for admission. They also help the education department in the processing of applications. The centre creates awareness about the RTE quota itself, and is now reaching out to youths in different states and cities to encourage them to start similar centres in their areas.

Ahmedabad was hardly able to admit approximately 30-40 children from economically weaker sections of society in the academic year 2013. The centre, initially started as an action research project by Ashish Ranjan and Sarvotham Shetty (IIMA – 2014) under the guidance of Professor Ankur Sarin, is looking into the implementation processes of three different states – Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. After visiting education departments, the centre’s volunteers called a meeting of schools and parents, where they realised that there was no awareness of RTE reserved quota admission process.

The centre’s volunteers also educate the parents about their rights. In 2014, they received approximately 1,800 applications, out of which the state declared that more than 600 applicants were eligible. This year, the centre has received around 5,000 applications. It has collaborated with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and ICDS to reach out to more than 400 aganwadis to spread awareness. This was a voluntary effort by more than 100 students across various colleges like IIMA, MICA, CEPT, NIRMA in Ahmedabad.

Sarin, a professor of public policy and social entrepreneurship, said, “We have observed that most parents back out even after admission is confirmed in the school through this process. The reason behind this is that private schools discourage them. If there is a school having two mediums, Gujarati and English, the school will ask the parent to take admission in Gujarati and not English. Our only request to the government is that we want the government to bring more accountability in the system and involve every stakeholder to get this policy implemented.”

The students, who are working with this centre, are now visiting different cities to meet college students to encourage them to open such resource centres in their cities too and help underprivileged groups in the admission process of RTE. Vasundhara Sharma, who has recently joined the initiative, said, “It is a great experience to see how our efforts can provide opportunities to underprivileged children as they are the future of our nation.”

“Working on ground and interacting with parents and school officials, we figured out some of the roadblocks and gaps in the implementation. I hope our research and campaign will be helpful to overcome such gaps in the upcoming years.” says Nishank Varshney, research associate at RTERC, looking after RTE implementation in Maharashtra.

“If a third party is making money by charging parents for filling RTE applications, then I think the government has failed to implement the policy,” said Sarin.

The resource centre also tries to involve young students in the area of policy implementation. They had conducted a 5-day orientation program for people who were interested in knowing about different government policies. They were given a 10 day-long practical lesson, where they went to their cities to find out how their respective states have implemented policies they wished to know about.

The IIM-A, Central Square Foundation, Accountability Initiative and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, will be launching a report titled ‘State of the Nation: RTE Section 12(1)(c)’ on March 24. The RTE quota, if implemented effectively, can create opportunities for 1.6 crore children from disadvantaged communities across the country. This is an attempt to understand Section 12(1)(c), which mandates the 25 per cent quota, from a multi-perspective point of view. “One of the most important aspects of the report is that we discuss the best practices, from state rules, DISE and field studies in the hope that these will be picked up and implemented by other states so that we are moving towards full implementation,” said Sunaina and Praveen, the authors of the report.

If you want to help start a RTE Resource Center in your city, please visit: www.rterc.in

Admissions in Ahmedabad under RTE quota in 2013: 30
No. of applications received by the RTERC in 2014: 1,800
No. of students admitted under RTE in Ahmedabad in 2014: 600 (approximate)
No. of applications received by RTERC this year: 5,000

Source: DNA India

Ahmedabad | Admit poor under RTE or face action, pvt schools told

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday took a serious note of private schools denying admission to poor children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The HC issued notices to nearly 200 private schools in Ahmedabad district asking why FIR should not be lodged against them for violating the law.

Acting chief justice V M Sahai did some tough talking in response to a PIL filed by Dalit Hakk Rakshak Sangh complaining of apathy on part of government and private schools in filling the 25% quota reserved for poor kids. “The private schools do not like to admit poor kids. They feel that their reputation would be spoiled….But they will have to give admission,” Sahai observed.

The petitioners submitted that 1,509 students had applied to DEO, Ahmedabad, for free admission, who forwarded their names to several private schools. But as many as 905 students — about 60% — were not granted free admission by the schools.

When petitioner organization told HC that indifference on part of authorities and private school managements resulted in denial of admission to poor children, HC ordered all these private schools to be made party in litigation.

Court asked schools to state on affidavit whether they gave free admission to students as per the mandate of the law.

HC said if schools have not given free admission to children under RTE laws irrespective of the list supplied to them by DEO, they have violated the norms. Schools should be given show-cause notice as to why FIR cannot be lodged against principals of such schools for violation of rights of the children to education under Article 21A of the Constitution, said the court order.

HC asked officials concerned to strictly implement the law and ensure admission under the quota. The court asked the Ahmedabad DEO, director of primary education and the central government to tender their answers in this regard. Further hearing is kept for March 27.

Source: Times of India

Gujarat | Court doubts govt’s RTE will, suggests lawyers’ panel

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the state government for its “lack of efforts” to implement the Right to Education Act in order to ensure admission of poor children on the 25% seats in primary section in private schools.

A bench of acting Chief Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria made oral observation that it believed that reliance cannot be placed on the state government for implementation of RTE laws for ensuring admission of poor kids in private schools. The court was of the opinion that for proper implementation, a committee of senior lawyers is required to be constituted which would come up with proposal for proper implementation of the law, said advocate Parul Joshi who represents petitioner NGO, Jagega Gujarat Sangharsh Samiti.

Last month, the HC had asked 16 schools of the city, which were selected as model schools to implement RTE Act, to keep 25% seats vacant for poor students in their primary section. The petitioner NGO had claimed that these schools did not grant admission to poor students under RTE laws.

These schools cited various reasons for not filling up the quota – the reasons varied from getting fewer applications, not fulfilling the criteria, etc. The petitioner submitted that most of these schools charge high fees and the state government’s allocation of Rs 10,000 towards fees for each student is not enough for them.

Till now, 12,601 students have been granted admission in private schools, though the government has reserved 18,000 seats for them. In Ahmedabad city limits, against 2,000 seats reserved for admission in private schools, only 604 students have been admitted. In Ahmedabad district, against 1,400 seats, 779 kids have been given admission during current academic year. It was alleged that the schools selected as model schools in the city have not been following rules on various pretexts.

Times of India’s View

The high court’s censure of the state government for its indifferent effort in implementing the Right to Education Act is a source of hope for an India that seeks an equitable society.

Poor implementation of the Act is a problem across the country. Therefore it is time that all states, including Gujarat, urgently put in place systems to achieve a vital national ambition: to ensure that no child is left behind.

The systems should have the capacity to help schools adhere to RTE laws as well as provisions to deter those who seek to hold up the mission.

Source: Times of India

Gujarat: 1,400 students to get admissions under #RTE25 in Vadodra

As many as 1,400 students from poor families will be given admissions in private schools under the provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act. The forms for the admissions under the system will be available from the district education office from Thursday.

The state government awards a quota to each city for admissions under the RTE act since the last couple of years. A committee headed by municipal commissioner looks into the admission process after accepting forms.

Chairman of the primary school education committee of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) Keyur Rokadia who is also a member of the admission committee said that last year the state government had given a quota for 800 students for the city. “We were the only municipal corporation area in the state that admitted students on all the seats,” he said.

District education officer and member secretary of the admission committee Navnit Mehta said that the children would be admitted in 82 Gujarati medium, 33 English medium schools as well as 11 CBSE and international schools. He added that forms for eligible students would be given till March 10.

Source: Times of India

Gujarat: Forms for admission to 3,000 RTE reserved seats available from Feb 9 in Ahmedabad

With 3,000 seats reserved in more than 380 private schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act across Ahmedabad, the form distribution for academic session 2015-16 will start from February 9 at 43 different centres.
The forms will be available from February 9 to 25 at various municipal schools in 43 city wards identified as form distribution centres by the district education department. This time, the private schools identified includes all Gujarati, Urdu, English, Hindi and Sindhi medium.
“This time, to ensure maximum takers for these reserved seats, the department has given name and mobile number of the mentor or guide deputed in each ward at 43 centres. They will assist the applicants in getting the formalities completed like submission of various certificates so that the application is not cancelled in the wake of incomplete form which has been the case in the previous years,” said Ahmedabad District Education Officer A K Rathod.
Academic session 2015-16 is the third year of implementation of the RTE rule of 25 per cent seats to be reserved in private schools for economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. While, in the previous years, the education department failed to achieve the target, the number of seats have been increased this time again.
As the education department plans to increase the number each year, for the coming academic session, the total number of seats reserved across Gujarat has been increased from 18,300 to 30,000. The total number of seats filled in these two years is nearly 12,900 students in private unaided schools across the state against a target of 18,300 students.
Also, to ensure maximum people are benefitted, the education department has also tied up with Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to enroll children under anganwadi centres. Various non government organisations (NGOs) have also been roped in for this cause.

Source: The Indian Express http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/forms-for-admission-to-3000-rte-reserved-seats-available-from-monday/