The landmark RTE Act of 2009…
Under the ‘Right to Education’ Act, private schools will have to enroll 25% of their class strength from children of age group of 6-14 from the neighbourhood belonging to the economically weaker section and the disadvantaged group of the society through a random selection process. However, RTE Act is not applicable to aided or unaided minority schools.
The selected students do not have to pay any fee, as the State Government will reimburse the schools towards cost of educating these students. They cannot be held back or would have to clear any Board examination until the completion of elementary education. A fixed student and teacher ratio is to be maintained.
Documents required are as follows. Economically weaker section: Income certificate (with income below Rs 1 Lakh p.a.), proof of residence and birth certificate of the child. Disadvantaged group: Caste certificate or disability certificate, proof of residence and birth certificate of the child.
What are the problems that parents face?
Since most of these parents are not much-educated and are financially weak, they are unable to cope up with the formalities involved in getting their kids admitted in schools under the 25 percent RTE quota. Neither are schools helping out by explaining procedures to parents and in fact, school managements barely tolerate them. Under these circumstances, assistance by voluntary organizations becomes crucial and fortunately there are many, some of whom are listed in the Resources section below.
The organisations assist the parents to identify the schools within 1 km vicinity who have to accept children under RTE. Next, they help the parents to secure the income certificate from the Tahsildar, followed by assistance in filling-up the application from. The hardest stage is after the form is submitted to the school or is uploaded online, as the case may be. Close follow-up is needed to ensure that the child secures admission. If the school dilly-dallies despite the applicant fulfilling all the norms and conditions, pressure may have to borne on the school through voluntary agencies or the State Government.