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Updated: May 6, 2012 08:39 IST

RTE tramples upon our freedom: CISCE chairman

Sudhindr A. B.
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Jose Aikara, chairman, CISCE
Jose Aikara, chairman, CISCE

Even as private unaided school managements are having some anxious moments with the State government gearing up to implement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 from this academic year, confusion is rife owing to lack of clarity on many issues.

In an exclusive interview with The Hindu, Jose Aikara, chairman, Council for The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), New Delhi, said that some of the clauses in the Act were “unscientific” and the government must be sympathetic and practical while implementing the Act.

Excerpts from the interview.

Q: The general impression is that private unaided school managements are against the implementation of RTE and efforts are being made to postpone its implementation…

A: No. We are not against it. In fact, we appreciate the government's efforts to spread universal education. Our only worry is that this Act in its present form tramples upon the freedom of the managements. We have built our schools brick by brick.

In India, less than 10 per cent of the schools are managed by private parties. The presence may be micro, but their impact on society is tremendous. Everyone must recognise the contribution of private schools in improving the quality of education imparted and thereby in building a healthy society.

Then, why should the government deprive us of running our schools. Why should the [school] administration go to local authorities? The government, instead of trying to rein us in, must look at improving its own schools.

When you say you are not against RTE, are you willing to provide 25 per cent seats for poor students?

Yes. But, why should the government insist that these students must be accommodated with other students? We are willing to have separate classrooms for them. We are also willing to adopt government schools so that these students feel comfortable with their group. But, the moot point is who selects these students. Schools do not have any say in this aspect.

How do you think school managements will overcome problems, including the cost of educating a child from a poor background?

There are only two ways: by increasing the class strength and having a nominal fee structure or by increasing the fees and having a class strength of about 30 to 40.

Schools with good infrastructure may think of increasing the class strength. However, schools with limited resources and facilities have no other way but to increase the fees, because managements cannot run their schools at a loss. You also need finances to adopt new technologies.

Without adopting new technologies, it is not possible to improve the quality of education. And, if more students are accommodated in a classroom, it surely will affect the teaching-learning process. I think 30 is the ideal class strength so that teachers can give individual attention.

How long do you think it will take to implement this Act to the satisfaction of both the government and managements?

This Act in its present form is unscientific, and I think it will take about three to four years to implement it satisfactorily so that both are comfortable.

The Constitution of India gives the Right to Education to every child
and the law safeguards it.
The Governments are bound to a have a policy based on the provisions.
Education is a national goal and both the Central and the State
governments have to run schools to ensure the realisation of the
results.
In reality,the hidden agendas of successive governments has been to us
the Ministries/Departments of Education to promise employment,to
create public opinion through text books,enjoy political mastery and
commercial interests.
To counter this,"ENTER" private parties with hidden agendas of
minority issues,religious propaganda and commercial interests. At
times both are connived and at times at logger-heads. This has divided the Indian society into economic classes and the Indian nation on the basis of language skills. I see a violent revolution ahead.

from:  SEVANA KRISHNA KUMAR
Posted on: May 9, 2012 at 09:21 IST

In the name of Right of Education the Govt. is going to destroy the education system. Our students especially upper class [economically backward]wards will find their future a question mark.The discipline in the schools will be a rare product and chances of these people getting a decent jobs will be remote [when the percentage reservation exist]. Even the god almighty may not be able to save this country from the petty politicians.

from:  trsubramanian
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 01:06 IST

All progressive ideas will be perceived to be curtailing the freedom of a few, for some time. I am sure that when the private schools acquired land and barred entry to the local people freedom of movement for a few local people would have been curtailed. When highways are constructed in vast stretches of the land, the extent of curtailment of free movement of villagers and their live stock is enormous compared to the 'trampling' of freedom articulated by the gentleman in the interview.

from:  Periasamy
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 21:52 IST

The Constitution of India gives the Right to Education to every child and the law safeguards it. The Governments are bound to a have a policy based on the provisions. Since education is a national goal and both the Central and the State governments have to run schools to ensure the realization of the results. In reality,the hidden agendas of successive governments has been to us the departments of education to promise employment,to create public opinion though text books,enjoy political mastery and commercial interests. To counter this,enter private parties with hidden agendas of minority issues,religious propaganda and commercial interests. At times both are connived and at times at logger-heads. This has divided the Indian society into economic classes and the Indian nation on the basis of language skills. I see a violent revolution ahead.

from:  SEVANA KRISHNA KUMAR
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 18:00 IST

This is a good interview highlighted by 'The Hindu'. Matters like disposition of students in a class, strength of a class and other parameters must be left to institutes themselves without undue govt. interference. Due to inherent disparity in knowledge acquisition due to various factors including parental support, students from poor families need additional guidance to bring them on par with others. The compulsory RTE endeavour is to put all five year old children to school as a first step to eradicate illiteracy in the decades ahead. By 15 Aug' 2047 all Indians must be literate in clean & green India.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 17:37 IST

Merit ! What merit do you expect from a 3.5 year old ? Muslim kids are not admitted (it is an official policy) in the top schools of Chennai. RTE not applied this admission season INSPITE OF SUPREME COURT OF INDIA'S VALIDATION OF R.T.E. ACT., MUSLIM KIDS are not admitted to good schools in India. RTE is not applied. It exists just on paper.

Discrimination against Muslims starts at KG.

Soft terror and slow poison is bieng administered at the grass roots 24×7. Need I take names ? An Inclusive Class Room will lead to an Inclusive India in the long term. This is the finest societal investment to save India !

from:  Balanga Khan
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 14:00 IST
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