25% Seats Reserved in 172 Unaided Schools Under RTE
Mangaluru: A meeting was organised by deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim to discuss on Right to Education (RTE), at his office here, on May 20.
Various NGOs explained the problems faced by children during admission under RTE.
The Constitution Act, 2002, is to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full-time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.
The RTE Act came into effect on 1 April, 2010. The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. With this, India has moved forward to a rights-based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act.
The RTE Act provides:
Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school.
It clarifies that ‘compulsory education’ means an obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education to every child in the six to fourteen age group.
‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education, and sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
This year, the DK administration has given priority to ward level schools. At present, 25% seats are reserved in LKG and 1st Standard in 172 schools, excluding minority schools. Those who join these schools will be given free education up to 14 years. The ward system has been made according to the habitations and population in rural areas. To fill the 25% seats during admission, importance will be given to the wards.
“Earlier, the Gram Panchayat was considered and this year the rural areas have been considered. The child can apply to a school within 1 km of residence. If when there is no unaided school, the RTE cannot be applied. In the city, we have made it ward wise. The age of the child should be 3 years and 10 months for LKG and 5 years and 10 months for 1st standard. So far, we have received 3398 applications for 2274 seats. In the first round, we have approved 791 applications; 1073 applications are pending for verification. If the child is selected and the information provided is found to be incorrect, such applications will be rejected.”
When asked what action will be taken when educational institutions charge high fees, the DC replied that another meeting would be held to discuss about the fee structure.
When asked about the 1073 applicants whose applications are still under process, the DC said that by May 23, all the verification of the documents will be done. Selection will also be done in the second round. All the reserved seats will be filled, he added.
CEO ZP Sreevidya, Raju Mogaveer, P V Mohan, DDPI, BEOs, NGOs and others were also present.