BENGALURU: The state government, which recently brought amendments to the Right to Education (RTE) rules in the state, under which admissions will be restricted to government and aided schools under 25% RTE quota reservation, is now forced to consider private unaided schools too. As the entry level for RTE is LKG and no pre-primary classes are available in state government schools, the Department of Public Instruction has no option but to consider private unaided schools for the academic year 2019-20.
Even the provisional list of schools released by the department has names of private unaided schools across the state, where admission to LKG as entry level is mentioned. B A Yogananda, secretary of the association, said, “During 2018-19 academic year, of the total 1.25 lakh seats available under RTE, over 80,000 seats were sought for pre-primary. This time, where should these parents go?”
S Jayakumar, director, primary education department, said, “We will release the neighbourhood list of schools after receiving objections wherein names of private unaided schools will be dropped.”
He said, “Where there are no government or aided schools in the neighbourhood, we will give admission in private unaided schools. In case LKG is the entry level at that particular school, then parents can apply for it. Otherwise, no applications will be received for LKG where there are government and aided schools in the neighbourhood.”Parents question this. “This is forcing us to admit our kids to government schools and we need to wait for two years as there is no LKG-UKG available in these schools. We will file objections,” said one parent.
Private school lobby behind it?
Nagasimha G Rao, state convener of RTE Task Force, said, “Despite knowing that there are no pre-primary classes in government schools, the government amended the rules. This clearly shows there is a private school lobby behind it. The government did not even have knowledge that by amending the rules it is violating the Sec 4 of the RTE act...”
Still a dream
The proposal to start pre-primary classes in government schools is still a dream. Ex-primary education minister had held several meetings but till date it has not taken shape.