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Budget –private schools to hold agitation against RTE rules

Budget Private Schools, Right to Education

DELHI: Representatives of at least 5,000 budget-private schools from across the country convened in the Capital to discuss the road forward as most face the threat of closure for not meeting certain criteria set by the Right to Education Act, 2009.

The schools, under the umbrella organisation, National Independent Schools’ Alliance (NISA), are planning to start a nation-wide campaign against “certain rules under the RTE,” NISA national coordinator R C Jain said on Wednesday.
Members said the provisions in the RTE making playgrounds compulsory for all schools is difficult to meet because most budget-private schools operate out of small areas and “do not have enough space for expansion.”

The schools also raised concerns regarding other sections of the RTE Act, issues of capacity-building, and governance with the goal of improving access and quality of education. They argued that people have “chosen” to study in budget-private schools over free education in government schools because “they have more faith in us”.
Jain said the government was also not paying for students who were admitted under the 25 per cent reservation for EWS category. This was “putting additional monetary burden on schools”.

Senior coordinator, Centre for Civil Society (CCS), Shantanu Gupta, said, “Closure looms large for such schools as they cater to families who can only afford to pay a minimal amount as fee for educating their children. “Since these schools cannot increase their fees as parents will not be able to pay anything more than what they do currently, the threat of closure is imminent.”

CCS is helping these schools formulate measures to remain open. “When schools resume session in July, we will hold protests in all state capitals against the rules under the RTE,” Jain said. He said the government is “forcing RTE” on budget schools which were “trying to provide education taking as little money as possible.”
Members said the rule stating that no child would be failed till Class VIII was unfair to the child as well as the educational system as “the will to perform was not encouraged” among students.

Indian Express, 14 June 2012


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