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Turkey passes law to shut schools run by Erdogan arch-rival Gulen

Minority Education, Private schools

01-03-2014

Live Mint & The Wall Street Journal

Ankara: Turkey’s parliament has passed a Bill to close down thousands of private schools, many of which are run by an influential Muslim cleric locked in a bitter feud with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move will strike a blow to Erdogan’s ally-turned-rival Fethullah Gulen, for whom the schools are a major source of income, as he stands accused of seeking to topple the government with a damaging corruption scandal.

The Bill, which was approved late on Friday, sets 1 September 2015 as the deadline to close down the network of schools.

There are around 4,000 private schools in Turkey, including an unknown number of preparatory schools run by Gulen’s movement.

Tensions have long simmered between Erdogan and Gulen, who once worked hand-in-hand as the conservative pro-business middle class rose at the expense of the military and former secular elite.

But they reached breaking point in November when Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government first floated the idea of shutting down the schools, which aim to help students prepare for high school and university.

Erdogan said at the time he wanted to abolish an unfair education system.

“Those who benefit from these courses are the kids of rich families in big cities,” said the premier, who himself hails from humble roots and has tried to cultivate an image as a man of the people during his time in office.

Eyup Kilci, deputy principal of the Gulen-affiliated Guvender school network in Ankara, condemned the new legislation, telling AFP it gives Turkey the unenviable distinction of being “the only country which bans education activities”.

Protests against corruption

Erdogan’s feud with Gulen escalated in mid-December, when dozens of the premier’s political and business allies were detained in police raids on allegations of bribery in construction projects, gold smuggling and illicit dealings with Iran.

Erdogan accused so-called Gulenists implanted in Turkey’s police and judiciary of instigating the corruption probe in a bid to undermine his government ahead of local elections on 30 March and presidential elections in August.

He retaliated by sacking hundreds of police and prosecutors believed to be linked to Gulen.

The scandal, which brought down four ministers and prompted a cabinet reshuffle, has evolved into the most serious challenge yet to Erdogan since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002.

This week, the graft controversy widened to directly implicate Erdogan himself, after recordings were leaked online in which the premier can allegedly be heard discussing hiding large sums of cash and conspiring to extort a bribe from a business associate.

The incriminating tapes have prompted the opposition to call for Erdogan’s resignation, while angry residents have staged protests against government corruption.

In a fresh rally on Saturday, some 600 protesters took to the streets in Ankara, shouting “They are thieves” and “Government, resign!”.

Some demonstrators were seen handing out fake euros in a mocking reference to the leaked audio tapes, which the government insists were fabricated.

At an election rally in the northwestern city of Kirklareli, Erdogan accused Gulen loyalists of “espionage” that threatened national security and warned that they would pay a “heavy price”.

“They wiretapped Turkey’s very confidential and very strategic conversations, and disclosed them to other (enemies),” he said. “Can there be such treachery and lowness?”

Observers say Gulen’s Hizmet (Service) movement risks losing millions of dollars in revenue once its Turkish educational institutions are closed down under the new legislation.

In other attempts to contain the political crisis, Erdogan’s government has recently also pushed through legislation tightening state control over the Internet and the judiciary, raising questions at home and abroad about the state of democracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999 to escape charges of plotting against the secular state by the then-government, has denied any involvement in the corruption probe.

The Hizmet movement also runs an estimated number of 500 private schools around the world. AFP

 

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Govt launch scheme worth Rs 600 to educate adult Muslims

Access to education, Minority Education

18-Feb-2014

Business Standard

Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the government today launched a new programme for educating adult Muslims, targeting over one crore of them.

The programme ‘Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan’, launched by Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, aims to impart functional literacy, vocational skill development and continuing education to one crore Muslim adults with an outlay of Rs 600 crore.

Besides, it promises to provide opportunities for upscaling basic education to around 2.5 lakh adults from the community and imparting livelihood skill training to around three lakh beneficiaries.

“410 Sakshar Bharat Districts will be covered with a financial outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current Plan Period,” an official statement said.

In the statement, the government claimed that the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language is undertaking many activities to promote, develop and propagate the language in the country.

The affirmative interventions made under various schemes for promotion of education of the minorities has shown encouraging results, it said.

“Enrolment of Muslim children at primary level as percentage of total enrolment has increased from 9.4% in 2006-07 to 14.2% in 2012-13, and at the upper primary level, from 7.2% to 12.1% during the same period,” it said.

“A more welcome feature of the development is that more Muslim girls are coming to schools,” the statement added.

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Minorities in higher education: A pipeline problem?

Higher Education, Minority Education

Beheruz N. Sethna
The University of West Georgia

INTRODUCTION

Critics of the Higher Education system might claim that the relatively low percentages of minorities in Higher Education represent a failure of our system to provide sufficient minority graduates, sufficient numbers of minority participants in the economic progress that results from the holding of degrees, and the relative dearth of minority role models for our young minorities. However, an opposing point of view states that these low percentages and numbers are simply a reflection of the “pipeline problem.” “The Pipeline Problem” in this context is defined as the defence that there are low numbers (or percentages) of minorities coming through the system – at each stage, if the “Input” is small, then, even the best processes of creating good products, are doomed to turn out, at best, low quantities of “Output.” In effect, if we look at this as a “production process” (for the creation of Bachelor’s degrees, or any other stage of higher education), it would look like this:

INPUT  PRODUCTION PROCESS  OUTPUT

If the input is very low, then the best of efficiencies in the production process will turn out low numbers of output. Though one might more reasonably call it an Input Problem, this is what is commonly referred to as the Pipeline Problem – and it will be so labeled in this paper.

So, do the low production percentages of Bachelor’s degrees in the case of most minorities represent more a reflection of a failure of the higher education system to encourage minorities to complete college, or is it a reflection of a pipeline problem (low percentage input)? It is reasonable to assume that percentage input of minorities will indeed be low, so, as we study this question, we will not attempt to apportion “blame” between these two possible causes of low minority output. Rather, we will simply study if the process is turning out output for minorities at least the same rate as it does for the majority. We accept that in many cases, it should work better than it does for the majority, to compensate for low input. However, if it does at least as well, there may a reasonable case to be made that the problem of low minority output is more a result of low input (the pipeline problem) rather than a flawed production process.

RESULTS

In a similar fashion to the preceding analysis, computations have been done for each minority group relative to the majority, and for each stage in the pipeline – not just the educational pipeline, but through employment and progression through academic and administrative ranks. These results are shown graphically in Figures 2-11 (as given in the paper). The details of each analysis have not been replicated in as much detail as was presented in the preceding section, but the results of progression or conversion through the pipeline are presented graphically — for each stage of the pipeline and for each minority group relative to the majority. For convenience of representation, the conversion rate for the majority is represented as the baseline, and so a positive percentage rate for a minority group implies that the progress of that minority through the pipeline is that much better than that of the majority, and a negative percentage rate for a minority group implies that the progress of that minority through the pipeline is that much worse than that of the majority.

The bright blue bars represent any case in which any minority group’s advancement through any stage of the pipeline is not only lower than that of the majority, but at least 10 per cent lower than that of all the other minority groups. They point out the most pressing need for intervention and assistance from national bodies such as AGB, AASCU, ACE, and others. Some brief comments are included on each graph. Broader conclusions follow the presentation of the graphs. The Bachelor’s to Master’s results were discussed in considerable detail in the preceding section, but the graph is included below for the sake of completeness.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Different ethnic groups need support and assistance to succeed at different stages of the academic pipeline. These imbalances can be corrected only with a substantial commitment of energy and resources from the entire higher education community – to include national organizations such as AASCU and ACE, Governing Boards and AGB, System heads, national search firms, and higher education partners. Such, then, is the recommendation – that all of these players and partners commit themselves to helping all groups – the majority and each minority population achieve success at all stages of the higher education pipeline.

Click here to read more: http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/11913.pdf

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Bombay high court reserves verdict on RTE for unaided minority schools

Courts and PILs, Minority Education

Time of India

12-10-2013

PUNE: The Bombay high court on Friday reserved its judgment on the writ petitions filed by Bishop’s, St Mary’s and other city schools challenging the applicability of the provision of 25% quota for children of weaker and disadvantaged sections of the society in case of unaided minority institutions, under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

“Arguments by all parties concluded before the court today. The bench has reserved its judgment and we expect it to come after Diwali vacation,” high court government pleader S K Shinde told TOI on Friday. The matter is being heard by the high court division bench of justices A S Oka and Revati Mohite-Dhere. The schools have cited the Supreme Court judgment of 2012 to contend that the RTE Act provisions were not applicable to unaided minority institutions.

However, the Pune zilla parishad (ZP), which had directed the schools to cancel their 2013-14 admissions for not adhering to the 25% quota provision, insisted that the schools had received aid in the form of concessions in property tax, lease of land from the government and thus cannot be viewed as unaided.

At a previous hearing, the court had observed that whether facilities like concession in property tax can be termed as ‘aid’ requires a wider debate. This is also to determine whether the petitioner schools get any aid from the state, the Centre or the local authority to fall within the ambit of the RTE Act provisions.

Shinde said, “We have argued on behalf of the state that it is for the Central government to decide and clarify as to what constitutes an aid or grant vis-a-vis applicability of the 25% quota, considering that RTE is a central enactment. The court has no jurisdiction over the matter.”

Apart from the Bishop’s and St Mary’s, Saraswati Vidyalaya (SV) Union school is the third petitioner. Minority institution head P A Inamdar also filed a separate petition.

In May, the high court had allowed the three schools of Bishop’s to fill 75% of its seats on a first-come-first-served basis while the admissions to the remaining 25% seats will be subject to the outcome of the court’s final order. A similar relief was also given to St Mary’s and the other schools.

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Educating the Muslim girl child – in a Mughal-era structure

Girl Child Education, Minority Education

By Meha Mathur

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

India Forum

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Functioning in a Mughal-era structure near Jama Masjid in the capital’s old quarters is the Balak Mata Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia, one of India’s oldest universities. The centre, located in Matia Mahal, provides education and vocational training to deprived Muslim girls and women.

 

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Functioning in a Mughal-era structure near Jama Masjid in the capital’s old quarters is the Balak Mata Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia, one of India’s oldest universities. The centre, located in Matia Mahal, provides education and vocational training to deprived Muslim girls and women.

The centre runs from a two-storeyed structure, which, according to a DDA Urban Heritage Certificate Award given in 1993, was used by emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) as a “home” while the Red Fort was being built. At one point of time, a Mughal prince’s begum used it as her residence. Later, the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, gave it to one of his grandsons.

The building, which has undergone many alterations, follows the traditional Indian architectural pattern of a courtyard surrounded by rooms on three sides.

The concept of Balak Mata Centre emerged in the late 1930s under the aegis of the torchbearers of Jamia – Zakir Husain, M. Mujeeb, Abid Hussain and Shafiqur Rehman Kidwai – who felt it was necessary to bring women and girls out of homes and provide them education. It originally started from Karol Bagh, from where Jamia was then functioning out of a few bungalows.

There are three branches of the centre – in Matia Mahal, Sadar Bazar and Pul Bangash – running today, providing schooling to girls till Class 5. The centre also provides skill-based programmes in computers, textile designing, cutting and tailoring and beauty therapy to women in the neighbourhood to make them employable.

A dark and narrow bylane leads to the nondescript entrance of the centre and but for a small signboard, it’s easy to miss it. Inside, the classrooms are airy and have colourful furniture in accordance with modern tastes, a few small slides and a merry-go-round. There is a dedicated lab for the computer course and a sewing unit for the cutting-tailoring course.

Centre director Yasmeen Parveen says that her team has to make a great effort to convince people to let girls and women come out of their homes. “Even today, the situation is that they don’t want to come out of their homes. We have had to do a door-to-door survey to identify the needy children and women,” Parveen told IANS.

Parveen and her team also keep a tab of students’ needs. In fact, she and her colleagues say that there are instances when a child does not get her first meal even when she returns home. In such situations, the teachers have often pooled in to help.

In addition to education and skill-development programmes, the Centre conducts health awareness drives, literacy melas, adolescent camps for young girls, and extension lectures on community needs, drawing experts from within Jamia Millia Islamia and outside.

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Minority + RTE = Chaos

Minority Education, Right to Education

BANGALORE: The obstacles in enforcing the Right to Education Act (RTE) seem unending. Just when things were beginning to fall into place a new row has broken out over the state government’s decision to give the minority tag under RTE only to educational institutions which admit 75 per cent of their students from the community concerned. With their hopes of escaping the RTE’s diktat on reserving 25 per cent of seats in elite schools for underpriveleged children dashed, several schools have voiced strong opposition to such a definition of minority institutes claiming it is a threat to their constitutional rights.

Chairman of the Minority Institutes Association, Gulshed Ahmed, says that till now all schools which made 50 per cent admissions from a religious or linguistic minority community were given minority status and there is no reason why this should not continue. But education officers contend that in reality schools and colleges which enjoy the minority tag today do not fulfill any of the criteria laid down. “Generally all schools and colleges started and run by people from minority communities are treated as minority institutes. Many institutes in the city claim this status without government approval and raise the issue only when it tries to take any decision on reserving seats for poor students or on their fee structure,” says a senior officer.

Experts feel that government should, in fact, extend the 75 per cent admission formula to higher education institutes as well to stop them from playing the minority card. Academic Dr.K V Shenoy says the government should provide all facilities and concessions due to minority institutes only if they give enough seats to students from their own communities. “Presently, most minority institutes unfairly get the tag in the name of poor students from their communities without really making any provision for them,” he says.

The misuse is sometimes blatant, according to education officers. “This year one medical college in Shimoga surrendered only 27 per cent of its seats to the government saying it was a minority institute, when it had just applied for minority status,” he recalls.

Unequal treatment for unequals

To bring groups of people who are ‘linguistically, scripturally and culturally different from the rest and are identifiable” into mainstream society the Constitution encourages minorities to set up educational institutes and promote their language and culture. These rights guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30 have been deemed absolute by the Supreme Court and minority institutes also enjoy a degree of autonomy in managing their own affairs.

So when the state government defined minority schools as those with a 75 per cent student body from the said community, it caused an uproar. The 75 per cent mark would be impossible to achieve, said those managing these institutes.

“Till now the percentage of a particular minority in an area was taken into account. If that was 10 per cent, a school with 50 per cent that number was deemed a minority institution,” says Mr Gulshed Ahmed, chairman of the Minority Institutes’Association. “We have discussed this with the education minister already and have been asked to present an appeal, which we will do next week. If nothing comes of it, we will go to court,” he warns.

Ms Nooraine of Inventure Academy, says the state government’s new definition appears to means that a Muslim starting a school should run it only for other Muslims. When there is already enough unrest among communities, this will only stoke the fire, in her opinion. “I want a unified India. I studied in Christian institutions all my life, went for Bible study every day and for scripture. People perceive Christianity positively because so many of us have studied in these institutions,” she points out, making a strong case for more plurality in schools “The only thing we can do is protest. May be we will get somewhere because the pressure is so high on the government. Right now, there is nothing we can do but wait” says Dr Joshua Samuel, principal, Baldwins Methodist College.

Deccan Chronicle, 24 July 2012

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Unaided minority schools too come under RTE

Implementation, Minority Education, Right to Education

BANGALORE: Unaided minority schools in Karnataka will not enjoy automatic exemption from giving 25 per cent of the total seats, under the Right to Education Act, to students from economically and socially weaker (ESW) sections without charging any fee.

In a contentious move on Friday, the State government decided that unaided minority schools in the State will have to offer 75 per cent of the total available seats to students from their respective communities to avail exemption from compulsorily giving 25 per cent seats to students from ESW sections under the RTE Act.

The unaided minority institutions not offering 75 per cent of the seats to children from their respective communities will, therefore, have to set aside 25 per cent of the seats for free education to students from ESW sections.

Briefing the media on a decision taken in this regard at a meeting of the State Cabinet during the day, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri said the Supreme Court had defined that ‘minority institutions’ should have a “handful” or “sprinkling” of non-minority students, while the remaining students should belong to minority categories concerned.

The minister said since the apex court had not indicated any percentage of enrollment for minority communities in unaided minority institutions, it was left to the State governments to define this. Kageri also indicated that this new definition will be applicable from next year. “Admission processes have already been completed. It would be difficult to enforce it (the decision) this year,” he said.

However, the decision is bo¬u¬nd to be challenged by unaided minority schools on the ground that the April 12, 2012 judgment of the apex co¬u¬rt had categorically exempted th¬em from the RTE Act’s purview. The judgment had held that the Fundamental Rights enjoyed by minority institutions under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution were absolute, and not subject to any reasonable restrictions. The apex court judgment stated that “Sections 12(1) (C) and 18 (3) (of the RTE Act) infringes fundamental freedom guaranteed to unaided minority schools under Article 31(1) (of the Constitution) and, consequently ……. the said 2009 (RTE) Act shall not apply to such schools”.

Why 75%?

Kageri did not explain the logic behind fixing the 75 per cent ceiling for the exemption. Official said that it would have been better if it was 50 per cent, the ceiling apparently followed in Tamil Nadu for many years.

But, the Supreme Court judgment has not specified that in a minority school, the student population should be a minimum of 75 per cent or any other percentage.

The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004, defined those who can run minority institutions. But it is silent on the composition of the student population in these institutions.

In the year 2000, the State government issued a circular stating the management of a minority school should predominantly consist of minorities. In 2006, an amendment to the circular was issued, saying that the reservation for minority students in minority institutions should be proportional to the population of the concerned minority community in area where the institution operates.

After the Supreme Court ruled that RTE should be implemented from this year onwards, the state education department had favoured a 50 per cent quota for minorities to enjoy the minority institution status.

However, going by the Supreme Court’s RTE judgment, there are question marks if these stipulations would hold ground. The judgment pointed out that legal and constitutional position in this regard stood changed in the wake of an amendment to Article 15 of the Constitution in 2005 by way of the insertion of clause 15(5). The judgment concluded that the new provision provided special protection to unaided minority schools.

Following Kageri’s announcement, official sources told Deccan Herald that a government order defining the ‘minority’ for the RTE Act implementation would be issued in a couple of days. However, the order may be only applicable to new schools to be set up and not to the existing ones.

Deccan Herald, 06 July 2012

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Miffed schools to move court against definition of minority

Minority Education, Right to Education

BANGALORE: Right to education is set to go to be taken to courts again. Miffed at the Karnataka cabinet’s definition of minority schools, the Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federations has decided to move the Karnataka High Court.

The cabinet had on Friday decided that a minority institution/school should have 75% of its children from the community to get that tag, and to exempt itself from implementing the 25% quota for poor children.

“We are awaiting the notification. As soon as we receive it, we will file a writ petition in the high court as the government’s decision is against various Supreme Court judgments on minority status,” said CR Mohammed Imitiaz, chairman of the federation.

Apart from minorities school bodies, individual institutions are also getting ready to battle it out in the court against the Karnataka government’s definition of a minority institution.

“We are planning to file a contempt case against the minister for primary and secondary education in the Supreme Court as the government has still not implemented the RTE Act as ordered by it,” said CR Mohammed Imitiaz, chairman of the Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federations.

The federation says the Supreme Court had, in an April 12 ruling, exempted all minority institutions as it infringes on the fundamental freedom given to them under Article 31 of the Constitution. Besides, there are court orders on who a minority is, which they argue, the minister is violating.

“The court has said the constitution of management determines the minority status of the institution. It has also said that yardstick should be the state’s population when the minority status is to be determined. All these are being violated. There are several such cases on minority status of institutions that have come up in the past and have gone in favour of the institutions. One such case was Model Education Society of Bangalore vs government of Karnataka. We believe that we will get justice ,” said Mohammed.

However, there are others who feel the government’s notification can still hold good as the order could be for the purpose of RTE alone. The state, they say, is well within its powers to define what a minority school is.

DEMANDS NOT MET: KUSMA

Unmindful of the arguments and counter-arguments regarding minority status, the Karnataka Unaided School Managements’ Association (Kusma) will go ahead with its proposed school shutdown from July 16 as there more issues than just the definition of minority.

“The decision of the cabinet still does not answer the more pressing question: how to define a minority? Is a Tulu speaker a linguistic minority ? Is a converted Christian or Buddhist a religious minority? What documents or proof should a Muslim or a Christian produce to prove his case? Who is the authority to grant such certificates? To dozens of such pressing questions, there are still no answers,” says Kusma lawyer KV Dhananjay.

“A law is urgently required. Only the legislature can make such a law. But… the Karnataka legislature may pass the burden by passing a resolution requesting Parliament to make a law to define minorities for the purpose of RTE Act,” Dhananjay says.

IF THE KARNATAKA FORMULA WORKS

If Kageri’s ‘minority formula’ works, the schools which do not comply with the rule will lose their immunity and will have to accommodate 25% children, though classes have already commenced. Otherwise, they will have to ensure that the children should be from their own community and make way only for them. But by the minister’s own admission, it would be difficult for the government to implement the RTE quota this year.

The Times of India, 08 July 2012

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Private school managements seek clarity on minority institutions

Minority Education, Private schools, Right to Education

BANGALORE: Even as the implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE) may be under way, some associations representing private schools are still unclear about certain aspects as far as implementation of the Act is concerned. A confusion is the definition of minority institutions.

“We wrote to the State government on April 30, asking that the word ‘minority’ should be defined when they exempted minority institutions from the purview of the Act. We got a reply on May 7 saying that it will be discussed; but we have received no information since then,” said K.V. Dhananjay, advocate for the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA).

Explaining that the association had both minority as well as majority institutions, Mr. Dhananjay said that this would help them know which schools fall under the minority category.

‘PRESSURE’

Sudi Suresh, Secretary, Karnataka State Private School Management Federation, said that various member-school managements were constantly being pressured to accept applications coming in after May 25, despite it being the last day to accept applications. “Member-schools have accepted applications till the last date of May 25 and students have availed themselves of seats as well,” he said.

However, Block Education Officer (BEO), North Range 1, Gopalakrishna, maintained that no management had complained about receiving late applications.

“If we receive complaints, it shall be discussed with the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI).
“Action will be taken against managements who refuse to accept children who applied before the last date,” he pointed out.

KUSMA has called a meeting of its members on Sunday. “The 1,800 members of the association have unanimously decided that they will do as suggested by KUSMA but the final decision will be taken by the managements,” said Mr. Dhananjay.
Mr. Suresh also said that members of the Karnataka State Private School Management Federation will meet Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri next week to discuss the issues that need to be resolved.

The Hindu, 24 June 2012

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Clarity on quota seats in minority institutions soon

Minority Education, Right to Education

HUBLI: Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has said that confusion over seat reservation in minority educational institutions would be cleared by the State government shortly.
Addressing mediapersons here on Monday, Mr. Kageri admitted that despite the Supreme Court order on exempting minority institutions from reserving 25 per cent seats for disadvantaged children, there was still confusion over which are the minority institutions to be exempted from the purview of the Right To Education Act.
“We are aware of the confusion and want to bring clarity to the issue. We have consulted legal experts, keeping in mind the apex court order. We will shortly come out with a clear stand on the issue,” Mr. Kageri said.
He clarified that there was no truth in allegations made by some schools that they had not received the official order of the government on the implementation of the RTE Act. All educational institutions have been sent the Government Order, he said.
GLITCHES INEVITABLE
He, however, admitted that since it was the first year of the implementation of the Act, confusion and delays were bound to happen. “Since it is the first year of the implementation, we don’t’ want to be in conflict with institutions. Differences will be sorted out to streamline the implementation,” he said.
To a query, he clarified that the State government had announced the timetable for admission to schools so school managements should not deny admission saying that their admission process has been completed.
Mr. Kageri said that the State government was in the process of reorganisation of the high school education (including PU education) in a phased manner and a committee of experts had been constituted to advise the government on this. “We have extended the time given to the committee as it sought more time. The committee will also be consulting education experts,” he said.
NEW SYLLABI
The Minister said that the government was in the process of bringing the school education in the State under the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFE) and to begin with, new syllabi for class V and VIII and I PU Science are being introduced from this academic year. “The syllabi have been finalised and textbooks are available in the market. We are also initiating steps to prevent artificial scarcity of the books,” he said.
NOTIONAL INCREMENT
Mr. Kageri said that some candidates in the fray for the forthcoming Legislative Council elections in the State were trying to mislead the voters saying that the notional increment given to teachers would be withdrawn. “Let me clarify that there is no such proposal before the government, and no question of recovering the money from the teachers. In fact, the government will take all steps to sort out the issue,” he said.
He said textbooks and uniforms had been made available across the State, except in a few districts in Belgaum division, where the suppliers have sought 15 days to supply the consignment of uniforms.

The Hindu, 29 May 2012

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