Schools Get Whip on RTE Quota
The Directorate of Matriculation Schools has asked all private schools in the State to ensure that 25 per cent seats set aside for disadvantaged children in entry level class are filled.
A circular sent to schools on Tuesday said that last year’s record of 60 per cent of the seats under the category remaining unfilled was unacceptable.
The circular noted that as per the guidelines framed by the state government under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, all private schools except for the minority institutions must set aside 25 per cent of the seats for poor students.
The circular pointed out that out of the 58,619 seats in 3,550 schools, only 23,248 seats were filled last year. The number of schools who participated in the process was as low as 2,600.
Several complaints have been received about schools regarding discrepancies in the implementation of the quota, the circular said. It has now directed all the Inspectors of Matriculation Schools (IMS) to maintain updated records on the quota admission and take action against erring schools.
The records should include details like number of seats marked, number of applications received, number of those rejected and so on.
The schools have also been asked to strictly follow the steps for the fulfillment of the quota as per the GO 60 of the School Education Department released in April last year.
This includes preparation of registers on the intake capacity in the entry level class, display of the 25 percent intake under the quota on the school notice board, notification for application forms under the category, among others. As per the direction, the process of admission under the category, which starts with the preparation of the details of the entry level class and intake capacity, must begin by April 2 every year.
Schools on the other hand said that the government has not been reimbursing the fees for admission under the quota.
“For the last two years the government has not provided reimbursement for admission. It is extremely difficult for us to implement this. Moreover the exemption of minority schools, especially those charging huge sums as fee, is unfair,” said the K R Nandakumar, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association.
Meanwhile, officials with the Matriculation Directorate said, “The delay is owing to the Central government’s laxity in providing funds. The funds would be provided soon.”