Parents of children who got admission to schools benefiting from the 25 per cent seats reserved for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Right to Education Act have got some relief. The Director of Primary Education had issued an order that schools cannot collect money for uniforms, notebooks and other material.
On Monday, Director for Primary Education issued an order stating that schools cannot collect fees or ask parents to purchase books, uniform and other material from designated shops.
After constant follow up from parents, activists of the Samajwadi Adhyapak Sabha and Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, Director of Primary Education issued the directives.
“It was continuous follow up with the education department that finally the order has come through which is a welcome relief for parents,” said Maitreyi Shankar of KKPKP. The order was issued on June 30.
Parents who have been following up with the department said the children admitted under RTE were not given books. “Last year, as well as this year, we were made to pay Rs 5000 for uniforms. Finally, with this order, we hope to be reimbursed,” said a parent who did not want to be named.
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The ruling from the state government came as a relief for parents who were under pressure from school authorities to pay up, failing which their child would not be allowed in school. Many parents borrowed money and paid up to Rs 20,000 to meet the costs. As per the order, the schools are to reimburse the amounts to parents immediately.
“I am grateful to the education department head Mahavir Mane for hearing our problem and acting on this. Outside his office and at Shikshan Mandal, I have met many other parents like me. This letter will definitely help all of us,” said another parent when she heard about the order.
In another step towards implementing RTE in letter and spirit, the department issued a notice to a school for allegedly “denying admission to students citing a wrong court ruling.”
“This is a bold step by the director and a real step towards getting free education for wards. We are happy with the circular issued by the Director of Education and hope the government is strict in implementing the decision. We appeal to the Vikhe-Patil Foundation to act as per government’s instruction. Otherwise, we will have to take up the issue on the street,” said Sharad Javadekar of Adhyapak Sabha.