Vadodara | Students under RTE accuse schools of bias

Vadodara: Parents of students, who were enrolled in a school under the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, have accused the management of discrimination. They have alleged that their children were being kept in separate classes away from other students who were not admitted under the RTE Act.

The schools, however, have denied the allegation and said that since the children enrolled under RTE were weak in studies they were being taught in separate classes.

The Vadodara district education officer (DEO), based on complaints from parents of 22 students of a school located on the VIP road, has initiated inquiry into the matter. Similar allegations have been made against other schools on the VIP Road and Vasna Road, but they have not registered a formal complaint with the DEO.

Under the RTE Act, it is mandatory for private schools to admit at least 25% of children from the weaker sections of the society in class one or pre-primary classes. The RTE Act emphasizes that the children should not be segregated from other children and should not be discriminated in any manner related to provision of entitlements and educational facilities.

“I have received complaints from the parents of 22 children from a school and have ordered an inquiry into the matter. If found guilty, we will take necessary action,” said DEO Navneet Mehta. “We have not received complaints from any other school so far.”

“My child is enrolled in a separate class meant for children from low income backgrounds. Our children have all the right to study in a regular class with other students. They should not be discriminated because of their background,” claimed Abdul Haji, parent of a child enrolled under the RTE Act.

However, school authorities were quick to deny the allegations. “The students who are enrolled in a separate classroom are weak students. We are providing them with remedial teaching to strengthen their basics to prepare them for class one. We have not discriminated them from other students,” said director of one of the schools where students under RTE are made to sit in separate classes.

“There are other schools in the city that are also discriminating against children of the weaker sections of the society,” claimed Sai Dhekane from the IT cell of Vadodara Congress who is also an RTE activist.

Source: The Times of India

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