Matriculation Directorate Order on RTE Sparks Row
COIMBATORE: A recent direction from the Matriculation Directorate, asking schools not to ask for parents’ income certificates while giving admission under RTE Act for those belonging to BC, BCM, MBC, SC/ST and SCA in the disadvantaged group, has disappointed activists.
Under the RTE Act, 25 per cent free seats are allotted in every school to two groups of students — the disadvantaged and weaker sections of society. While students belonging to BC, BCM, MBC, SC, SCA, ST, DNC affected with HIV, children of scavengers, orphans, and the differently-abled come under the disadvantaged group, students whose parents or guardians earn less that `2 lakh per annum belong to the weaker section.
A recent circular from the Director of Matriculation said, matriculation schools should not ask for income certificates from students belonging to disadvantaged section of society. This means, students other than those belonging to forward caste who come under the disadvantaged section will be eligible for 25 per cent free seats under RTE act and income criteria will not be applicable to them.
This will defeat the purpose for which the RTE Act was implemented, said V Eswaran, youth wing secretary of the MDMK.
“How can a student belonging to BC community, whose family income is `1 crore rupees, be equal to a student whose family income is less that `2 lakh. The government should frame a clear policy defining who the beneficiaries of the scheme are and they should also chart out what percentage of the 25 per cent free seats under the RTE Act,” he said.
R Vishalatchi, president of TN Private Schools Association said, “It simply means all students other than those belonging to the forward caste will be eligible for 25 per cent free seats under RTE Act, irrespective of their family income. It would be better if private schools are removed from this ambit.”
■ The RTE Act gives 25 per cent free seats in every school to two groups of students - the disadvantaged and weaker sections
■ Disadvantaged: BC, BCM, MBC, SC, SCA, ST, DNC affected with HIV, children of scavengers, orphans, and the differently-abled
■ Weaker section: students whose parents earn less that `2 lakh per annum
■ The Circular says schools should not ask for income certificates from students belonging to disadvantaged section
■ The Catch: A BC student whose family earns `1 crore per annum will be equal to a student from the same community whose family income is less than `2 lakh