Maharasthra: RTE to get toll-free hotline in Pune

Number to be decided, but plan is final, says new edu comm, for parents aggrieved with schools.

With constant controversy surrounding school admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the education commissioner’s office has instituted a new toll-free number for aggrieved parents to lodge complaints, to be directed to local education officers to verify and resolve. The decision may come as a relief to parents attempting to admit wards in schools under the 25 per cent quota allotted by RTE to underprivileged categories, which some schools have been making difficult.

The newly appointed commissioner of education, Dr Purushottam Bhapkar, on Wednesday announced the plan. A separate department running under the commissioner’s office will work as grievance redressal cell and also look after the helpline.

“A number will be decided soon, but the plan is final. This will provide a centralised approach. If parents are unaware about whom to approach with complaints or if they are going unheard at the local level, they have a new avenue,” said Bhapkar.

While the toll-free number is starting for RTE-related complaints, parents can also approach the education department’s office with other complaints, such as norms of the Fee Regulation Act, Capitation Fee Act or regulations around corporal punishment against children being flouted.

Parents seem appreciative but apprehensive. Mahesh Ashtekar, whose son studies at MIT School, said, “The concept is appreciable, but it will be another government-run process, so I have my doubts. We can tell if it is helpful once implemented.” Satish Bobade, whose son attends the Tree House School, echoed, “Many of us have approached schools, local education authorities, and main offices with RTE-related issues. Only in some cases, where the complaint reaches top bosses, issues get resolved. So, there may be some hope in the new plan.” – PMB

Source: Pune Mirror


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