Jaipur | New rule may reduce RTE admissions in state by half

Jaipur: Lower middle-class families would no more be able to see their wards in elite private schools under the Right to Education Act. The Rajasthan government has cleared that only those families/parents under general and OBC categories which have BPL cards will be eligible to apply for the RTE lottery this year. Parents belonging SC and ST categories have been exempted from the ruling.

It means that even self-reliant SC/ST parents can apply for RTE admissions under this category.

The earlier law was that families whose annual income was Rs 2.5 lakh or less were eligible to apply for RTE admissions. Senior education official, requesting anonymity, said that the move came after they found that both schools and people have abused the law by showing ghost admissions and fake income certificates.

“We conducted a probe at around 4,000 private schools which were under scanner for abusing RTE rules. We found that many schools had shown inflated number of students admitted in the normal course so that their intake in RTE category which is 25% of normal admissions also rises,” said the officer.

He also stated that they have come across many families who are maintaining independent bungalows and cars and yet their kids are studying under RTE Act. “The decision has been taken to make judicious use of the taxpayers’ money,” said the officer.

 Rajasthan is leading the country in terms of RTE admissions with over six lakh admissions since 2010-11. The state pays a maximum of Rs 17,500 per child expenditure to private schools on account of RTE admissions.
The decision would likely reduce the number of admissions in the RTE quota almost by half in year 2016-17.
Experts say that this ruling will come as a blow for the urban poor who doesn’t own a BPL card. “The biggest challenge is that most of the urban poor families don’t have BPL cards. The state should devise some mechanism other than BPL card to ascertain their economic status to widen the eligible criteria,” said Mohammad Ameen, a social activist.

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