‘The number is unclear as many have registered offline also’

As many as 13,761 private schools have registered online with the Education Department as the last date for their mandatory registration under the Right to Education Act, 2009, came to a close on Friday.

Many schools that come under the Karnataka Unaided Schools Joint Action Committee (KUSJAC), which had earlier resisted registration on the ground that the process is too cumbersome, have also now complied with the rule.

“The government conceded our demand to allow offline registration with the Block Education Officers and we have done it,” said L. Shivarame Gowda, president of the KUSJAC.

Numbers not clear

There is no clarity as yet on whether and how many schools across the State have failed to register because several schools have registered offline, according to E. Nanjappa, Consultant on the Right to Education Act, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Besides, while the computer-generated statistics indicate that as many as 19,966 private schools were meant to register, Mr. Nanjappa said that the actual numbers could be lower because many composite schools run both primary and secondary schools come under one registration. “The District Information System for Education (DISE), on the other hand, counts primary and secondary schools separately, irrespective of whether they are run by the same management or not,” he said.

“So, the actual number of schools who may have failed to register will be known only when we gather information from the field,” Mr. Nanjappa told The Hindu. It is estimated that close to 5,000 schools may be composite schools running under single management, he added.

As per the rules under RTE, registration of all private schools is mandatory for their recognition to be continued.

In the meanwhile, the Karnataka Unaided Schools Joint Action Committee, which held a meeting on Friday, has decided to meet Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Secretary and other officials of the Education Department on Monday to press for their other demands.

Their demands include formation of a State-level committee for implementation of the RTE, which includes members of school managements. They are also demanding change in definition of “neighbourhood” and change in criterion for a child be deemed eligible for 25 per cent reservation under the RTE in private schools.