Pune | 17 city schools to face contempt cases

Pune: The state government has decided to file contempt of court against 17 city schools for not providing admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act even after Bombay High Court directed them to do so. These schools will now have to explain their stand in HC.

Among these schools are wellknown names like Vikhe Patil Memorial School, two schools run by Shikshan Prasarak Mandali, Gurukul School, etc. Following parents’ complaints, the education department recommended the filing of court cases against concerned schools. The move has now received a green light from the state.

State education minister Vinod Tawde said he met toubled parents and members of the schools’ management. “We will inform the court that a special round of admission will be held for these 600 students and that they will be admitted in two weeks. Schools will be ordered to make extra effort to ensure that these late entrants are able to cope with whatever they have missed out on,” he said.

On the other hand, denying these allegations, schools said while they have taken in students under RTE, the confusion is regarding dual-entry point for admission.

Mrinmayee Bhave, principal of Gurukul School, claimed that like the past three years, this year too, the school has admitted children under RTE. “The education department is referring to the 2012-2013 academic year. Then, neither was there any application nor communication from the state to reserve those seats. Now, they are asking us to admit children in Class I as there were no admissions in playgroup in 2012-2013. However, our Class I batch strength is at the optimum level and includes students, admitted under the RTE, who have naturally progressed.”

Anat Mate, vice-chairman of Shikshan Prasark Mandali Trust, said while the trust’s schools had admitted children under RTE at the playgroup level, “the state is asking for another 25 per cent admissions. If that’s done, then 50 per cent of class strength will comprise RTE students. This will make it difficult for the administration to run schools. The government should focus at one entry point”.

The RTE saga has proven to be long and difficult this year. With six months of the academic year already done, around 600 students, who were allotted seats in the first round of centralised admission process, were not taken in by schools. After a long court case in HC, the schools were asked to admit these children in August. However, a month has passed and parents are still struggling to get their wards admitted to given schools.

Source: Pune Mirror

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