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Define minority for Right to Education: Schools

Minority Education, Right to Education

BANGALORE: Who belongs to a minority? What does the law say about it as far as schools are concerned? When does the government plan to decode this term? These were some questions the Karnataka (recognized) Unaided Schools Management’s Association (KUSMA) asked the government on Monday.

The association demanded a deferral of the implementation of the Right to Education Act to the next academic year because the government hasn’t defined the term ‘minority’ yet.

The association, which has over 1,800 member schools, said if the government forced them to implement the Act, it will not be left with any other option but to shut down schools. KUSMA cited the example of a school having bilingual members on its board. The Constitution declares that a minority could be a religious or a linguistic one. This would lead to confusion whether a school is a minority one or not.

Soumya Ramesh, secretary, Gnanaganga Vidyapeeta , an unaided private school, and KUSMA member , said all they want is a clear demarcation of minority and non-minority institutions to ensure proper admissions.

Sibal against toons

Under attack over the cartoon row, HRD minister Kapil Sibal acknowledged that cartoons on politicians should not find a place in textbooks as they influence the impressionable minds of students.

Minority definition varies

BANGALORE : The 25% quota for the poor under the Right to Education (RTE)Actcould run into a roadblock with the Karnataka (recognized ) Unaided Schools Management’s Association (KUSMA ) demanding a clear definition of the term , minority . KUSMA , with 1,800 schools, says the defintion of the term , minority , is not uniform . Principal education secretary G Kumar Naiksaidthe governmentisworking on the definition of a minority .

A Mariyappa , secretary , KUSMA , said in Tumkur district , one school comprising members of a sub-division of the Veerashaiva sect has been treated as a minority whereas in Gulbarga , the same sect is a non-minority . In Mangalore district , Tulu Governing Council members have been denied minority status because the government says those talking in Tulu are deemed to be Kannada speakers . “This is utter arbitrariness ,” he said .

“In the absenceof a specific rule , some minority institutions could be deprivedof this status andwillbeinevitably exempted . The very purpose of free and compulsory education to every child is lost. RTE can’t be applied tillthe governmentoutlinesthebasic rule ,” he said . KUSMA believes that half of all private unaided schools in Karnataka could gain ‘minority’ status if the term is defined fairly

The Times of India, 15 May 2012

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