Bringing relief to parents pinning their hopes on getting their children admitted in private, unaided schools under the Right to Education (RTE) quota in the coming academic year, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait has shot down the Education Department’s proposal to tweak the norms governing the RTE admission process.
Earlier this month, Shalini Rajneesh , Principal Secretary of the department, proposed that students applying for RTE quota seats be admitted to government or aided schools in their neighbourhoods, and to private schools only if there are no government or aided schools in the vicinity.
On January 12, Mr. Sait rejected the proposal citing the need for the State rules under the RTE Act, 2009 to be amended before making any changes to the admission process. He said the proposed amendments need to be placed before the Cabinet for approval, and then in both Houses of the State legislature. As the process will take time, in the coming year the process followed in the past years should be retained, he said.
However, he said, the question of tweaking the Act can be considered based on the Kerala model after taking inputs from different stakeholders.
The move to amend the Act has come under criticism as most wards in the city have a government and aided school, and changing the rules would mean that chances of a child getting admission under the RTE quota in a private school will be ruled out. Sources also suggested that the State government did not want to introduce these changes in an election year.
However, another section of experts had batted for the proposed amendments believing they may help channelise funds — currently being spent on reimbursement for seats in private unaided schools — to government schools. In the 2017-2018 academic year alone, the State government is estimated to spent close to ₹350 crore on reimbursement.