Private school correspondents from Coimbatore and the Nilgiris districts attend SSA training programme

Private schools have been told to strictly adhere to all the rules and regulations of the Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act such as providing admission without demanding birth certificates or conducting any admission tests.

Addressing a training programme organised in Coimbatore on Thursday for private school correspondents from Coimbatore and the Nilgiris districts, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) State Project Director A. Mohammed Aslam said the objectives of this landmark legislation could be achieved only through the combined efforts of teachers, parents, public and private schools.

“The Act has to be implemented in its entirety by 2013, March. Towards this objective, awareness programmes are being held across the State. Like the successful polio eradication campaign, this initiative to provide education to all children also requires private sector participation.”

Admissions simplified

Explaining the provisions of the RTE Act, he said that it had simplified the admissions by extending them to six months a year.

In case of differently abled children, schools must be open for admission throughout the year.

Further, he said that the Act had also mandated that students must be issued Transfer Certificates anytime they seek it. Schools must also give age-appropriate admissions to those who had dropped out temporarily and special bridge courses should be held for such students to enable them to make up for lost time.

Private schools must also allocate 25 per cent of their seats to disadvantaged students in their neighbourhood. The ultimate objective was providing inclusive education and ensuring that no child was denied admission, said Mr. Mohammed Aslam.

Coimbatore Additional Chief Education Officer (SSA) R. Thiruvalarselvi and her counterpart from the Nilgiris M. Vasantha spoke. Students who had won prizes in the competitions held by SSA delivered speeches and recited poems on their perspective of the RTE Act.

Correspondents and secretaries of schools from Coimbatore and the Nilgiris, representatives from Parents-Teachers Associations, non-government organisations and other associations in the education field took part in the classes.

Sessions on the Act were held by District Institute of Education, Research and Training lecturer Ilangovan and Block Resource Teacher Educator K. Manickam.