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RTE in shambles in Lohardaga district

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It seems that the human resource development department is not serious about proper implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE) in Lohardaga.

For one, most of its schools defy RTE norms, with inadequate number of teachers.

On top of that, the department has still not provided payment to private schools that follow the RTE norms in free enrolment of 25 per cent poor children. According to RTE guidelines, the Government has to bear the cost of these

students.

Several schools in Lohardaga district have claimed their payments, lakhs which have been pending since last year. “Since it’s a matter concerned directly with the State Government, we are continuing enrolling students free but our repeated requests draw no attention of the system towards our payments. Increasing dues have now become a matter of concern,” said DAV Public School principal K Avtar.

DAV School had enrolled 43 children last year and claimed a payment of Rs 5,42,850, which remains pending. This year, the school enrolled 49 students, which translates to a claim of over Rs 6 lakh. This is not an isolated example. Several schools are knocking on the District Superintendent of Education’s (DSE) doors. The DSE is the nodal officer of RTE in the district.

Lievense Academy administrator Fr Thomas Powthil said the DSE had, after repeated requests, said the work was in process. “We have submitted our separate requests, claiming payments of over Rs 2 lakh but we are still waiting,” he added.

The district has near 45 private schools. Last year, 34 had enrolled 567 poor children to educate them in entry-level classes. More schools have shown interest this year but are worried about the pace of Government payments.

SDE Farhana Khatoon said her office has sent the reports of all schools that submitted their bills. “Principals are asking me for payments that are in process at the director of primary education level, in State headquarters,” she added.

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