Private CBSE schools out of bounds for RTE admissions

‘They do not even bother to reserve seats under the act’

June 01, 2018 10:02 pm | Updated 10:02 pm IST


While the Tamil Nadu Government has streamlined the admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in private schools since 2017 by introducing an online system and monitoring mechanisms, activists allege that private schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), however, remained out of bounds for RTE admissions.

K. Hakkim of People's Awareness Trust, a Madurai-based non-governmental organisation that set up help centres to assist people in applying for admissions under the RTE Act, said that he received queries from hundreds of people for admissions to CBSE schools.

“However, CBSE schools were not brought under the online system. Hence, I asked them to directly contact the schools. Almost all of them said that the schools refused to accept their applications,” he said.

Alleging that CBSE schools, along with schools affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), rarely adhered to RTE Act, a senior official from the School Education Department (SED) here, said, “These schools do not even bother to reserve seats under the act. Otherwise, they project incorrect data.”

“They do this by showing that a certain number of students were admitted under the RTE act, but actually those would have been done normally by accepting capitation and other fees,” he added.

A. Chandru, district deputy secretary of Tamil Puligal party, which carried out protests last year on the issue, said that the trend was continuing this year as well.

“We tried to apply for around 15 underprivileged children in three CBSE schools. However, we had to send the applications through post since the schools refused to accept the applications. We are now following up with the office of Chief Educational Officer, but they say they are helpless as they have no control on CBSE schools,” he said.

Pointing out that Kendriya Vidyalayas, which also come under CBSE, carried out admissions in a transparent manner, he questioned why CBSE cannot do the same with private schools.

Highlighting that CBSE schools lacked regulatory mechanisms, Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary of the NGO — State Platform for Common School System, said that this was many matriculation schools moved to CBSE in Tamil Nadu since 2010.

“They wanted to escape from the The Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act and the common syllabus system. They also escaped from stringent scrutiny about implementation of the RTE Act,” he said.

He pointed out that the Chennai regional office of the CBSE had to monitor schools in five States and two Union Territories in southern India.

The senior official from the SED said that a recent government order of the State government, bringing considerable changes in the administration of the department, also gave powers to the CEOs to inspect all schools irrespective of their affiliation.

“The CEOs can now check if CBSE schools are properly implementing the RTE act,” he added.

Stating that there was an increasing trend of parents preferring CBSE schools because of exams like National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test that are based on CBSE syllabus, Mr. Hakkim said an online system must be introduced for CBSE schools as well to streamline RTE admissions.

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