Parents in Odisha fight lack of support under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act

Hundreds of parents who staged protest in front of the Heads of Departments building (Nataala) in this regard, lodged their complaint with the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell.
Image used for representational purposes only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purposes only. (File Photo)

BHUBANESWAR:  Parents of students enrolled in private schools, both Odia and English medium, under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in the 2023-24 academic year, staged protest in the city on Monday alleging lack of adequate financial support they are entitled for education of their kids. 

Hundreds of parents who staged protest in front of the Heads of Departments building (Nataala) in this regard, lodged their complaint with the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell. They also submitted a memorandum to the Directorate of Elementary Education.

 The parents alleged that the state government has made a provision of around Rs 25,000 as ‘per child expenditure’ for the students of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) studying in private schools under RTE Act towards free text books, uniforms, mid-day-meal and other such entitlements, many of them are purchasing books and uniforms on their own.  

“Despite having low income, we are spending thousands of rupees as neither the private schools are sharing any details, nor the government is clarifying if it has provided the funds to the schools,” said Anukul Sahu a parent, whose kid is studying in Class II in a private Odia medium school under EWS quota. 

The parents alleged though thousands of students from EWS category have enrolled in private schools, the matter is yet to be resolved by the Directorate of Elementary Education of the School and Mass Education department.  Chairman of Odisha Abhibhak Mahasangh Basudev Bhatt supported the protest and said he has raised the issue before the government as nearly 20,000 students have enrolled in private schools under RTE. While elementary education officials could not be reached for their comments, a senior official from Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) said the government has already finalised the per child expenditure for this year and the Elementary Education Directorate is looking into it. 

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