Notwithstanding the reservations to the implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE) expressed by a section of private school managements, the State government has gone ahead and released the first list of schools and the number of seats they have to set aside for the 25 per cent students who will be admitted under the RTE quota. The list, published on Thursday, is for the south division of the city and names 355 schools and the number of seats they have to allot under RTE for Class 1.
‘We don't know'
Curiously, schools The Hindu spoke to, including those in the list, said they were not aware of any such development. They also hinted that admissions under RTE may happen only after they reopen.
“We are yet to receive any letter. Though our school offices are open, admissions are not taking place. So we will take a decision after we receive the communication,” said Deepa Sridhar, director, Sri Kumaran Group.
Mansoor Khan, member, Board of Management, DPS Group, said in the wake of the Supreme Court's order, the heads of private school managements were willing to accommodate students admitted under the quota. “But the time frame to implement the Act must be realistic. We have not received any communication in this regard. We may need time to start the process as the schools are closed now. We will abide by the rules, but there should be clarity on some issues.”
Robina Farooq, principal, Prasiddhi School, said they had received no intimation. “We will give admission if students falling under the quota approach us,” she said.
The managements are also wondering how the numbers were arrived at without consulting the schools. Sudi Suresh, secretary, Karnataka State Private School Management Federation, said: “No school was consulted on seat availability and the sections. The Minister had promised an amicable solution after consultation in the last meeting. However, they now seem to be unilateral in their decisions.” He said schools are unhappy with the reimbursement fee announced, especially for nursery sections.
Last year's strength
But Commissioner of Public Instruction Tushar Girinath said the number was calculated based on the class strength in each school in the last academic year. In all, there would be about 91,000 seats for the 25 per cent reservation under RTE for underprivileged students across the State. Block Education Officers will be responsible for the lists. “Letters will be sent to the schools soon,” he said, when told about managements not knowing about the development.