Is RTE quota reason for decline in govt. school enrolments?


Analysis of enrolment data at macro-level points to the contrary

Like most headmasters of government schools, K.C. Shivanna of the Sanegoravanahalli government primary school feels that the RTE reservation quota is the bane of his school. He says that since the inception of the RTE quota in 2012-2013, class 1 admissions in his school have steadily declined since many opt for private schools.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar, in the Legislative Council on Friday, said the State government had second thoughts on the quota because it was proving detrimental to government schools.

But are RTE quota seats in private schools really the reason behind decline in enrolments in government schools?

An analysis of enrolment data at the macro-level reveals that the percentage of decline in enrolments in government schools and the increase in the percentage of private school enrolments has been happening long before the RTE Act came into force.

Statistics show that there has been a consistent decline in enrolments in government schools before enactment of the RTE Act. The decline rate has, on an average, remained the same even after the Act was brought into force.

“Parents, who admit their children under the quota, are the ones who would admit them in private schools with or without the quota. We have observed that a child who is admitted in a top private school under the RTE quota is someone who would have vied for a seat in a small private school anyway if there was no quota,” an official said.

A parent, who got admission for her daughter in class 1 in one of the “reputed” private schools on Bannerghatta road, said, “If my daughter had not got admission under the RTE quota, my next plan was to admit her in a low-budget private school. Enrolling her in a government school was never an option.”

RTE activist B.N. Yogananda said there was a need for the department to streamline admissions and ensure that the underprivileged sections reap the benefits of the quota.

“Instead of streamlining, the government seems to think that scrapping the quota is the solution,” he said.

With complaints of fake income certificates coming into light, Mr. Ratnakar had mooted that the department make possessing a BPL cards as a criteria for selection. However, this method too has been slammed as there were a lot of fake BPL cards.

Despite the government providing seats under the quota, parents are not willing to compromise on the “quality” of schools.

For the 2015-16 academic year, although there were 2.57 lakh applications vying for 1.11 lakh seats, 223 schools that have poor infrastructure received zero applications under the quota. In contrast, in some schools, one seat was being contested by almost 20 applicants.

Class 1 enrolment year wise

Govt. school enrolment

% age enrolled

Private unaided school

% age enrolled

Total enrolment in class 1

Children enrolled under RTE


6.21 lakh


3.99 lakh


11.19 lakh



5.94 lakh


4.28 lakh


11.20 lakh



5.86 lakh


4.56 lakh


11.48 lakh



5.72 lakh


4.60 lakh


11.34 lakh



5.42 lakh


4.93 lakh


11.37 lakh


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 6:22:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/is-rte-quota-reason-for-decline-in-govt-school-enrolments/article7905369.ece

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