Protesting the non-implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, and Gujarat State Self-financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act 2017 in the state, parents of students in Gujarat have planned to write an open letter to all 182 MLAs on the RTE Act’s eighth anniversary on April 1, demanding to “stop making a fool out of them” by using them as vote bank and allowing private schools to flourish.
Parents will gather under the parents’ organisation, Waali Swaraj Manch, at Law Garden on Sunday morning to write personal letters addressed to all elected representatives of the state government. These will be then personally handed over to them at their official residences in Gandhinagar the following day. The idea behind writing to MLAs irrespective of their party or position is aimed at making all of them responsible towards education of children in the state.
“There have been several representations by the parents in this regard being made to Education Minister which did not result into any action on the part of the state government. The meetings and representations have turned out to be futile, leading to loss of trust on the minister or the chief minister. Thus, we are urging all elected representatives to understand the issue and own up their responsibility and accountability towards the deteriorating education system in the state,” said Sukhdev Patel of Waali Swaraj Manch. The ongoing ambiguity over the Gujarat State Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act and the ineffective implementation of the RTE Act have added to the parents’ woes who are forced to pay exorbitant fee for the education of their wards.
“Even after eight years, the state government has failed in the implementation of the RTE Act. Else, government schools would have been better and the trend of private schools that has only aggravated in these years despite hike in their fees would have been reversed. It is only exploitation of parents by these schools who are enjoying a monopoly across the state,” said Amit Panchal, another member of Waali Swaraj Manch.
Earlier this month, parents had filed mass applications, seeking information on financial accounts and inspection reports of 22 self-financed schools under the Right to Information Act. The parents claimed that they were being harassed by schools under the confusion over fee regulation.