Maharashtra: Schools ask 1,643 pupils to pay up or leave

Move follows govt decision to put pre-primary schools out of purview of RTE, which mandates 25% quota for the poor.

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Published: May 5, 2015 12:58 am

With the BJP-led government in Maharashtra revoking a January circular, which had made it mandatory for pre-primary schools, attached to a parent school, to admit underprivileged students under the 25 per cent quota of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, school managements have asked 1,643 students to either leave or pay full fees.

In the first round, 2,516 students were allotted seats for Std I, while 1,643 students were allotted seats in nursery and junior kindergarten. According to the new rule, admissions of these 1,643 students stand nullified.

Parents, across the city, have now come together to protest against this decision.

At a press conference, Monday, by NGO Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, parents alleged that the last minute decision has led schools to cancel nursery admission allotted to their wards by the education department last month, thus leaving them in a lurch.

While some are blaming the Congress government for “erroneous notifications and government resolutions”, leading to chaos and confusion, education department officials claimed this decision have opened up a Pandora’s box.

“When we approached the state education department to discuss the issues, we were told that the pervious notifications were issued by the Congress government and they are against RTE Act norms. We were told that RTE Act is applicable for the 6-14 age group, so government will pay reimbursement to schools only for class I,” said an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
The latest Government Resolution dated April 30, however, says that pre-schools will no longer fall under the purview of RTE Act in Maharashtra.

The NGO has now threatened to move court if the April 30 resolution is not revoked.
dipti.singh@expressindia.com

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