When it comes to the implementation of a certain part of the Right to Education Act which requires private schools to reserve 25 per cent seats for children from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Disadvantaged Groups, Delhi seems to have outperformed other states.
A study by the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), Central Square Foundation, Accountability Initiative and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy has found that the capital has the highest percentage of seats filled in this quota under Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act — 92.08 per cent. The national average is 29 per cent.
The study analysed data from the District Information System for Education for 2013-14 and government notifications to assess the success rate of the EWS-DG quota across states.
It also looked into states’ definitions of various criteria under the RTE Act, and clarity and transparency over the various procedures involved, among other things.
When it comes to defining criteria for EWS admissions, information on documents required and the selection process, Delhi scores high.
Defining reimbursements and transparency on the reimbursement process are the only areas where the capital is left wanting. Apart from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu too fare well in the study. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Goa fare poorly on most indicators.
The report, however, suggests studying the effect of the RTE Act in terms of more parameters than those already defined to assess its effect.
Shailaja Chandra, a former secretary, said while Delhi had reasons to be happy, “areas of concern” remain.
“The Directorate of Education is of the view that the RTE Act has been successfully implemented. It feels the EWS policy has been accepted by private schools, that there is no discrimination amongst pupils and the goal of social assimilation is being met,” she said.
She said while a few thousands have benefited from admissions, there were thousands more who were studying in government schools and that the RTE Act had, in effect, created class distinctions.