RTE shamed: Bangalore schools target poor kids

Some educational institutions continue to make a mockery of the Right to Education Act (RTE) passed by the Parliament recently.

Zeenews Bureau

Bangalore: Despite government’s emphasis on ensuring a good education to all children, there are some educational institutions, which continue to make a mockery of the Right to Education Act (RTE) passed by the Parliament recently.

Reports, Thursday, claimed that the RTE Act requires private schools, except minority educational institutions, to reserve 25% of their seats for children from economically disadvantaged families. However, several educational institutions still refuse to comply with the provisions of the RTE act, which they see as a major impediment in their fee collection.

Some schools in Karnataka, which are part of the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management, have closed from Monday for a week, saying there is no clarity on how the RTE Act should be implemented.

More recently, some parents from Bangalore have alleged that their children, admitted to a private school under the RTE Act, are being treated unfairly and face discrimination.

Their children were admitted to a private school, Oxford School, which was earlier out of their financial reach, it was reported.

A woman, whose child was recently admitted to Oxford, alleged that the school authorities discriminate between regular students and those admitted under the RTE Act.

She further alleged that students belonging to SC/ST or poor sections are being told to sit in the last row and no attention is paid to them. They are not given any homework and are never encouraged to participate in school activities, she states.

When contacted by the parents, the school authorities tell them to seek clarification during the parent-teachers’ meeting.
Some of these children, admitted under the RTE act, were even forced to have haircuts so that they can be differentiated from regular students.

A Dalit organisation has alleged that this was done by the school to mark out children who were admitted under the Right to Education quota.

The children have themselves confirmed that their hair was cut by their classmate.
After the matter was reported in the local media, the state education department decided to investigate the matter. However to its suprise, the school was found to be locked for unknown reasons.

Whatever may be the outcome of this inquiry, the opposition to the RTE act by private schools will only deprive the children from weaker sections a fair chance of a good education.

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