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1,800 schools under KUSMA to defy RTE

Budget Private Schools, Private schools, Right to Education

The Karnataka Unaided Schools’ Management Association (KUSMA) has said that all the 1,800 schools coming under it will defy the Right To Education (RTE) Act.

Noting that the State government had failed to define a ‘minority institution,’ the KUSMA office-bearers and their legal advisor on Monday said that the Association had decided to ‘face the consequences’ and not implement the RTE this academic year.

“With the State government not providing any clarity on the definition of a minority institution, we will be unable to implement the RTE this year,” said G S Sharma, KUSMA president .

Citing a letter dated April 30, 18 days after the Supreme Court verdict on enforcing RTE in private unaided institutions, dispatched to the State government, KUSMA said there was no concrete response to the Association’s plea for clarity on the ‘minority’ status.

Most institutions under KUSMA may use this as an excuse to avoid the implementation of the 25 per cent quota for children from underprivileged families under RTE.

K V Dhananjay, the legal advisor to the Association, said there were many instances of member schools being denied the ‘minority’ status arbitrarily by the government.

“A particular school which had converted Christians on the board of directors was denied minority status, because the Education Department said there is no recognition to converted Christians,” he said. However, the legal advisor said the Association had no figures as to how many schools under KUSMA could get the ‘minority’ tag.

Implementation

Reacting to KUSMA’s decision, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education,
Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, said: “We will proceed with the implementation of RTE by taking into consideration KUSMA’s concerns. We will definitely implement it this year in all schools.”

Meanwhile, Secretary to the Department, Kumar Naik, said lack of clarity on the definition of ‘minority institution’ was not a valid excuse for not implementing RTE.

“If the Association has concerns over the definition of minority status, they are free to approach the court. It is not a valid reason for not implementing RTE,” he said.

Deccan Herald, 14 May 2012

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