Pune: Anticipating that the fight over the 25 per cent quota admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act isn’t over even if students get admissions and that individual complaints by parents aren’t yielding any results, a group of parents, along with Aam Aadmi Party volunteers and members of other NGOs working for RTE quota admissions, have called a meeting to discuss the formation of a union of parents to fight issues collectively.
Mukund Kirdat of AAP said the decision had been taken since it was noticed that a group had better negotiating power with schools or education board officials than an individual parent whose complaints weren’t even heard in isolation.
“Also, while the biggest issue for us at present is getting admissions for the children under RTE quota, the fight won’t stop here. Over the last two months, we have heard horror stories of how parents whose children were given admissions under RTE are being treated by schools. In most schools, parents are being asked to pay for stationery and uniforms, which is wrong. In other schools, children are discriminated against and made to sit separately from other general category students, which is a criminal act. In some cases, children were not allowed to sit in exams or report cards since schools didn’t get reimbursements from government. Wherever you see, it is clear that getting admissions under RTE quota is just the first step in a long struggle for parents. Hence, it is important that such parents come together and help each other through a common pool of knowledge and resources whenever they face any problem,” said Kirdat.
Another volunteer, Abhijit More, said now was the time to lend momentum to the plan to form a union since people come together and in contact with each other at the time of admissions. “Once the admission are done, people will scatter. Hence, forming this union at this moment is very important since all parents are together right now,” he said.
A parent, Balu Dandekar, recalled the multiple attempts he made to get admission for his child and was refused. “I started going to education board and there I found other parents and AAP volunteers who helped me. I learnt many new things about RTE Act too. I think the formation of this union is also important for that purpose – to give information to parents about their rights,” he said.
Source: The Indian Express