HYDERABAD: It took a little boy to speak the truth about ‘the emperor’s new clothes.’ Any action against private unaided schools with regard to implementation of random selection of candidates can only be taken in case a complaint is lodged against them. Surprisingly, in a scenario where parents have been jostling for admissions for academic year 2012-13 since last year, a majority is perturbed by the system of lottery instead of written examinations or interviews.
The monitoring authority for the implementation of Right to Education Act in the country, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Dr Shanta Sinha regrets the non-implementation of the Act at the state level in letter and spirit and the fact that the schools cannot be brought to book till the practice is challenged. “There is no necessity for a separate government order to be issued with respect to admissions to schools based on a lottery system. It is the law and schools are expected to abide by it. However, where we lack is the enforcement of RTE. There have to be specific directions on enforcement of the rules laid down by the Act and a proposal elaborating on how to go about it,” said Dr. Shanta Sinha, winner of the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay award.
The Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) was taken to court by the NCPCR for violating the RTE and screening children for admissions. The Delhi High Court had barred the school from conducting entrance tests for kids. “But this level of intervention is not possible in each state. Further, we have made sure that none of the governemnt-aided schools conduct screening for admissions but we cannot bring to book a private unaided school till someone challenges the practice,” says the chairperson.
The parents however seem surprised at leaving the all-important admission to ‘luck’. “The lottery system of admissions some of the schools follow give me nightmares. How is it fair to the child who is better?” questions Sumithra Vijay, a parent who got admission for her daughter at a private school last year.
The government on its part says it will act if only someone complains. Despite the presence of state advisers to help the NCPCR monitor the implementation of RTE, none seems to be ready to bell the cat.