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Governments dual stand on RTE slammed

For-profit education, Private schools, Right to Education

BANGALORE: The befuddlement over implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the state still continues. Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s statement during the state budget presentation has only added to the confusion.
CM D V Sadananda Gowda said: “The government will be implementing the RTE Act from 2012-13, and will seek full co-operation from privately managed schools.” This has essentially made RTE dependent on private schools, much to the anger of educationists.
Dr Niranjan Aradhya, a fellow with the Centre for Child and Law at National Law School of India University, who has worked closely with the government over RTE issues, told Express that the state is not obligated to seek approval from private schools.
“The main application of RTE is on the state. The state is obligated to provide education regardless of compliance from private institutions. Implement the Act first, and then face the problems as they surface,” he said.
With no specific budgetary allocation made towards the implementation of RTE, he said that the provision of grant-in-aid to private schools up to 1994 has dimmed the hopes of the Act being implemented.
“This shows the dual stand of the government. By providing aid to private schools, most funds will go to them. Where is the money to implement the Act?” Dr Aradhya asked.
With the issue of reimbursement of 25 per cent fees for underprivileged children in unaided schools still burning, calls for superceding private schools have come to the fore.
“This clause holds good only in cities and towns. There is a provision in the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, to supercede the management of private institutions. However, we will not have a clear picture until the state notifies the rules for implementation,” said a senior educationist.
Noted Kannada writer and thinker K Marulasiddappa said: “The RTE is meant for underprivileged children. Why even ask private schools? The government should force them. It is a farce, as it suggests that the government is not willing to enforce it, or that it wants the RTE to benefit private schools.”

BNlive, 26 March 2012

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