Bengaluru schools dodging the RTE quota


Four top schools are in the dock for claiming minority status to fend off applicants.

Four top private schools are refusing to admit students who are entitled to seats under the RTE quota. Claiming to hold minority status, the schools have not allocated the required 25 per cent of seats to students who from poor socio-economic backgrounds. This adds up to 48 seats.

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued notices to the managements of several private schools and threatened to initiate action against them. In the notice, Commissioner for Public Instruction P.C. Jaffer had identified six private schools. One school in Malleswaram fell in line and agreed to admit 15 students. Another obtained interim relief by approaching the High Court. The remaining four, however, have neither allocated seats under the RTE quota nor replied to the department’s notices, as of Thursday evening.

“One school, Indus International, took two students only to cancel their admission,” said a DPI official, adding that the school management has also written a letter to the department stating that they have suspended the clerk who admitted the students. In a statement to The Hindu, the school said, “We are exempted from RTE provisions and in support of that we have filed our application before the Minority Commission. We have also filed a writ petition against the notice from the Education Department, which is pending in court.”

Department officials, however, said that if a school is only in the process of applying for minority status, it cannot avail exemption from RTE quota.

The jurisdictional Block Education Officers are planning to write to the department to initiate action against such schools, as many students will be left in the lurch.

‘More schools seeking minority status’

The DPI has seen a rise in the number of schools applying for a minority tag. Officials believe that one of the motivating factors could be a desire to ‘avoid’ providing 25 seats under the RTE quota, as minority schools are exempted from this clause.

In 2014, the number stood at 1,059. In June 2014, the State cabinet passed an order stating that for a school to be given minority status, it should have 25 per cent of students from a notified minority community, a decrease compared with the order it replaced, which had put the percentage at 75 per cent.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, 106 schools were granted minority status. At present, the State has around 1,900 minority schools.

“The number of schools applying for minority certificates have increased,” an official in the department said.

Officials also noted that some schools are producing false certificates to claim this tag. Many are producing certificates from associations and other bodies that are not authorised to issue minority status.

“Some managements obtain minority certificate for one school and try to claim the status for another branch. Such claims have been rejected,” a source said.

Schools in the dock

Air Force School, Murugeshapalya - 22 seats

New Millennium School, Horamavu - 15 seats

Indus International School, Sarjapur - 6 seats

GEAR Innovative International School, Chikkabommasandra - 5 seats

What managements say

Air Force School, Murugeshapalya

“Our school comes under the Ministry of Defence and there is a case pertaining to this in court.”

[However, enquiries by the department revealed that the school is run by a society.]

New Millennium School, Horamavu

“We had applied for linguistic minority status as nearly 35 per cent of the students are from the Malayali community, but were unable to obtain the certificate. We have also approached the court in this regard.”

Indus International School, Sarjapur

“We are exempted from RTE provisions. We have also filed a writ petition against the notice from the Education Department, which is pending in court.”

GEAR Innovative International School, Chikkabommasandra

“We have obtained exemption for our branch in Dodakanhalli by approaching the court and will soon get a stay for our Chikkabommasandra branch as well.”

Eligibility to be considered a minority school

# Two-thirds of management members belong to a minority community

# 25 per cent of students belong to a minority community

# There are two categories for obtaining minority certificate - linguistic and religious minority

# The Directorate of Urdu and Other Minority Language Institutions under the DPI is authorised to issue certificates to schools for linguistic and religious minority status

# The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions is authorised to give permission under the religious minority category

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 3:11:12 PM |

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