Owing to shortage in the number of applicants for seats reserved under the Right to Education Act,2009 in private schools,the UT Education Department has now planned to rope in city-based NGOs to reach the beneficiaries.
As per the Act,private schools have to reserve 25 per cent seats in entry classes for children from economically weaker sections of society. In order to reach the beneficiaries of the scheme,the slum dwellers.
Over 2,000 of the total 3,000 reserved seats across 73 private schools in the city are lying vacant. Sources say that the key cause behind the shortage in the number of takers for these seats is the lack of awareness programs being conducted.
UT Education Department has,so far,advertised the availability of these seats only via three advertisements given three different newspapers on the same day.
No advertisements have been given on radio nor has the administration held awareness camps in the slum colonies located near these elite schools.
City-based NGOs feel that their volunteers can serve as intermediaries between the private schools,UT Education Department and people belonging to economically weaker sections,to ensure proper utilisation of RTEs provisions.
Anuradha Sharma,president of a city-based NGO Hamari Kaksha,said,Ever since RTE Act has come into effect,we have been motivating the people living in citys periphery areas to apply for the admission of their children in private schools. However,what Ive realised so far is,we need to first remove the inhibitions among the parents of these children while communicating with the private schools. Our volunteers can certainly help the government in counselling parents.
Parmod Sharma,president of another city based NGO Yuvsatta said,We have already been sensitising the people living in periphery towards the importance of sending children to schools. For these children,what can be better fortune than going to private schools?
UT Education Secretary V K Singh said,We will take the exact number of applications received by the schools in the next two days. We will then approach the local NGOs to find eligible children to fill up the vacant seats.