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On its Second Anniversary, RTE Inspires a New Round of Debates

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Financial and psychological aspects are being cited as the prime causes for non adherence to RTE norms by many schools. So what is the explanation from the point of view of the School administrators and leaders…

By Pragya Gupta, Elets News Network (ENN)

Second Anniversary of Right to Education (RTE) has been celebrated with another high decibel message. The message is one that has come in the form of a verdict passed by the Supreme Court. With the intent of offering equal opportunities to millions of children who cannot access quality education because they are economically unpowered, the court has passed the verdict stating that schools must reserve 25 precent seats for economically weaker sections.

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Shantanu Prakash CMD, Educomp Solutions Ltd“We welcome the Supreme Court judgment as this will pave the way for millions of our children to access good quality education. At Educomp, our mandate has always been to promote quality and access across the education spectrum. We sincerely hope that the RTE Act will be implemented in its correct form and spirit, in coordination with all important stakeholders, and this will hold the key to its success.”

Government introduced Right to Education Act in April 2010. The Act envisages that all poor children aged between 6-14 years should be given free and compulsory education within their neighbourhood. This included unaided minority institutions, but these institutes have been removed from the ambit of the RTE Act by the Supreme Court verdict. The Act is operational in 32 states. The Central outlays for implementing the RTE-SSA programme have practically doubled since 2009-10 (Rs 13,100 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 25,555 crore in 2012-13).  The government will reimburse private schools for admitting poor students, but only to the extent of the expenditure made by the government schools.

Rita Kaul Principal, The Millennium School, Noida“There will be challenges in implementation and there are still some areas that need greater clarity, but all stakeholders must come together and clear all doubts and allay fears so as to create a workable implementation plan. We have created scientific teaching systems that provide an opportunity to all children to shine. We will also be counting on the support of all like-minded parents to ensure that transition and eventual integration is smooth”

Mixed response from schools

The judgment has got mixed response from the education community.  The decision has been opposed by many schools throughout the country; in addition to financial issues, some educationists have also highlighted psychological impacts of this decision.

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