MADURAI: Though the Right To Education (RTE) Act was implemented in the country to ensure free and compulsory education for all children, most of the private schools in Tamil Nadu, which adhere to syllabi other than that of the State board, apparently couldn't care less.
Random checks at these schools by The New Indian Express revealed they have not reserved 25 per cent of the seats (as mandated by the Act) for students from the economically backward sections.
The School Education Department urged parents to apply for RTE seats for their wards between April 20 and May 25 this year, and the random selection for admissions under the Act had been scheduled for May 30. Several CBSE and ICSE schools visited recently by The New Indian Express have not allotted any seats under the RTE.
R Parvathi, who wished to admit her child to a CBSE or ICSE school in Madurai, said no such institution was listed in the RTE web portal. "The Education Department told me to contact the school and obtain an application. The schools I contacted claimed they don’t come under the Act's purview. The CM take it to the notice of Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan," she added.
TNIE contacted CBSE Schools Regional Officer Dinesh Ram and sent questions by email on May 26. He has yet to reply. Collectors must ensure schools in their limits adhere to the Act guidelines, opined educationist and Platform for Common School System’s General Secretary PB Prince Gajendra Babu.
Meanwhile, Federation of Private School Associations State President M Arumugam said the minimum amount given by the government for students admitted under the Act was not on par with the fees provided by the other students. "The government must hear grievances from schools and parents," he said.