HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court verdict on implementation of provisions under the Right to Education Act seems to have ruffled the feathers of schools in the city. “Why exempt private unaided minority institutions?” is the question being asked by representatives of private unaided schools which have been ordered to allot 25 per cent of seats to children who hail from socially underprivileged classes or are disabled.
“The private unaided minority institutions enjoy various sops from the government as well as funding from various non-governmental sources. Why exempt them from the provision of 25 per cent reservation for socially underprivileged children?” questions Sangeeta Varma, general secretary of Hyderabad District Recognised Schools’ Association.
As most of the schools have completed their admissions for the academic year 2012-13, the managements are relieved with the one year window for the implementation of the provisions under RTE.
“If the Act is to be implemented it should be at the entry level. There is a year’s time for us to implement the provisions as we have completed admissions to pre-primary and nursery classes and a few admissions are made in standard one.
However, the government has to clear the ambiguity on payment of fees for the students admitted under the 25 per cent quota,” observes Madhavi Chandra, principal of Gitanjali Devashala.
The argument against the RTE provision for 25 per cent quota for underprivileged children is the so-called “dilution of standards”. “Since our schools do not run on taxpayer’s money, the government cannot interfere with the running of the school.
There are schools which are built by the government or constructed on lands gifted by the government which are a separate section.
It is too early to comment on the guidelines and the state government’s policies for implementation. One needs to wait and watch,” says D Usha Reddy, principal of Meridian school and chairperson of Hyderabad Sahodaya Schools Complex.
The association of private unaided schools as well as private school managements in the city have ample time to plan their course of action as effectively, the order which came into effect immediately will only be complied with in the next academic year.