June 5, 2013 3:54:56 am
Three years after the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act,the state governmentpassed a resolution to reserve 25 per cent seats for economically weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools.
Planned to be implemented in phases from the academic session 2013-14,the government has roped in eight municipal corporations and reserved 5,300 seats for children from EWS and disadvantaged groups. The implementation is expected to begin from cities.
Though the number of seats per district has been divided,the municipal commissioners along with district education officers (DEO) and administrative officers and chairman of municipal school boards have also been directed to identify and divide these seats among private schools where these children will be provided free education.
In the initial phase,schools in south Gujarat and Saurashtra regions will be covered. Eight municipal corporations including Ahmedabad,Surat,Vadodara,Rajkot,Bhavnagar,Jamnagar,Junagadh and Gandhinagar has been given the responsibility for the implementation of this clause, said Principal Secretary (Primary Education) Sangeeta Singh.
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The state,that implemented the RTE Act April 1,2010,has already received a lot of flak for its failure to implement 25 per cent reservation in private unaided schools while all other provisions for the RTE Act were already notified.
As per the notification,put out on May 23,a copy of which is with this paper,not only reservation has been made for 25 per cent of total seats in Class-I in private schools,the state government has also elaborately defined EWS and disadvantaged groups,both in order of priority.
While,after BPL families,children whose parents annual income is Rs 36,000 and Rs 27,000 for rural and urban areas,respectively will be given first preference under EWS category. This will be followed by children with family annual income of less than Rs 2 lakh.
Similarly,not limiting itself to the EWS category,the state government has made an attempt to provide an equal chance to mainstream children from a wide section of disadvantaged groups by divided it into eight categories. These include (in order of preference) orphans,child in need of care and protection,children from child care institutes,child labours/migrated children,mentally challenged/cerebral palsy children,children with special needs,HIV patients,SC/ST and OBC.
5,300 seats in 8 districts
Bhavnagar,Jamnagar,Junagadh and Gandhinagar 250 seats each
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