As the debate raged on the discrimination against children admitted under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Oxford English School on Nandini Layout, the school management, which kept mum thus far, has finally come out with a clarification.
Ajit Prabhu, correspondent of the school — where locks of hair of the children admitted under the RTE Act were cut to distinguish them from others — spoke to The Hindu after a meeting of the private school management associations with the Karnataka government here on Thursday.
Mr. Prabhu said the hair of the Standard I students was cut, not by the teacher but by one of their classmates. More importantly, the hair of even children of the general category was cut.
“The crafts class was going on. Chirag [the name changed and who cut the students’ hair] had scissors. When the teacher Rupa [the name changed] turned to the blackboard, Chirag cut off the locks of hair of four children: two non-RTE and two RTE children. The teacher took him to task and informed the principal; the parents of both parties were summoned the next day.”
“At the meeting, the parents of the children whose hair was cut turned violent and beat up Chirag’s father,” he said.
Thereafter, the parents of the RTE students approached Narayan of the Dalitha Samrajya Stapana Samiti. His men barged into the class when Rupa was teaching, pulled her out and manhandled her. “She was freed at the intervention of some Standard X children. To this day, Rupa is scared, and we don’t know whether she will come back to school. Narayan’s men took away the tiffin boxes of the children,” Mr. Prabhu said.
Asked about the names of the children admitted under the RTE quota not being in the attendance register and not being given homework, he said: “They are included in the attendance register. They were not given homework, given the learning differences, since the other children had studied LKG and UKG.”
As for the school remaining closed, the office-bearers of the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association, of which Oxford English School is a member, asked how the school could be opened in the midst of protests by several organisations outside the campus.