About two months after the Allahabad High Court asked the state government to ensure that the rules for admission of students belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS) are in accordance with the basic interpretative principles of Right to Education Act, the Akhilesh Yadav government has finally moved to amend its rules.
As per the order dated May 11, 2016, a Basic Shiksha Adhikari will now be required to ensure admission of EWS students in the neighbouring private schools up to 25 per cent of that school’s total strength, the limit set under the RTE Act. A student will have the option of taking admission into a school of his or her own choice.
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This change overrides the government’s own interpretation of the RTE Act, under which it would admit such students first in government-run schools and, once their capacity – 30 students per teacher – has been exhausted, then send the BSAs for seat-hunting in the neighbouring private schools for remaining students’ admission. Setting the procedure for admission of such students, the government has instructed BSAs that it would be their responsibility to invite application from the parents before the start of the new academic session.
Based on these applications, the BSAs would prepare a proposal keeping the parents’ priorities for admission in non-aided schools. This proposal would be given to the respective district magistrates whose decision would then be informed to the respective school as well as the parents.
Also, to improve its performance by ensuring larger enrollments of EWS students in private schools across UP, the Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Department is planning to send a team to Delhi to study the model used there.
“Last year, we were able to enrol about 4,500 EWS students into privates schools across the state, We are targeting enrolment of about 15,000 to 20,000 students this year. While BSAs have been asked to follow the instruction, we have decided to study the Delhi model as well,” said Ajay Kumar Singh, secretary, Basic Education Department.