Ranchi: It is that time of the year when parents will be queuing up outside schools to buy admission forms for their children. The beginning of admission season has also renewed the debate on enrolment of students from below poverty line (BPL) families in private schools.
As part of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 25% of the seats in every private school must be reserved for BPL students. The Act also mandates providing free education to these students.
Ajay Rai, president of the Jharkhand Parents’ Association (JPA) said: “Last year, we received many complaints of students from BPL category being denied admission in private schools. Many schools here are not even registered with the district superintendent of education’s (DSE)’s office, but the government remains indifferent to the problem. We are apprehensive about whether this year too, the BPL students will face the same problem. If this happens, we will not sit quiet.”
Sixty four private schools in the district are registered under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. In the academic year 2015-16, of the 817 seats in the registered private schools only 447 were filled.
The reason behind the 50% seats under BPL category remaining vacant was the reluctance of schools in taking these children in and students being shy of seeking admission. Many schools did not want to enroll the BPL category students on the available 25% of the seats because they would not have got any fees from them. On the other hand, many students belonging to BPL category did not want to join private schools because they were not provided free books and uniform like government students from government schools.
However, the district superintendent of education (DSE) of Ranchi, Jayant Mishra said this year 100% BPL admission is expected.
Talking to TOI he said, “This year too, there will be around 800-900 seats for students from the BPL category. All the private schools have been directed to add in the notice that 25% seats in the preparatory classes would be reserved for BPL students. Parents applying for BPL category admission s hould submit proper documents to support their claim.”
To ensure that private schools do not face financial losses by admitting BPL students, the government has decided to reimburse Rs 425 per student to the schools admitting BPL students.
“This scheme was not available till the previous admissions so the schools were a little reluctant to admit BPL students. Now that the money will be reimbursed, they shouldn’t have a problem. We have also directed all the schools to provide free books and uniforms to the BPL students so that the parents do not have to suffer financial burden,” Mishra said.
As per rules, the forms of BPL students are submitted to the schools and the school forwards them to the DSE’s office for verification of the BPL status. After verification, the final list for the students to be admitted is sent back to the respective schools and admissions are done accordingly.
Source: The Times of India