Private schools give a damn to admissions under RTE Act

Another common refrain is that the students lack the appropriate behaviour' to mingle or blend with other students in private schools

Hyderabad: The Right to Education Act (RTE) is barely being implemented by private schools in Telangana. It has been so dismally low that hardly have any of the 1.75 lakh seats been filled in the last two years. The major reason for schools not abiding by the RTE is that they are not receiving funds from the government. Another common refrain is that the ‘students lack the appropriate behaviour’ to mingle or blend with other students in private schools.

DC spoke to several principals and headmasters of budget, private and international schools. While most of them said that the government itself has not asked the schools to implement the RTE Act, others said that they stopped admissions under the RTE Act because of the poor hygiene as students coming from slum areas. They can be a bad influence on others, goes the argument.

The promoter of a budget school said that the state government had sent a letter to the Union government in 2009 saying that Telangana does not want to implement the RTE Act as they were running gurukuls with RTE funds.

"No school in Telangana is implementing the Act as the government itself has turned a blind eye to it. If the government mandates it, we will happily do so," he said, adding that he was clueless about RTE funds being used to run gurukuls.

By a stroke they may get a maximum of '9,000 from the government, which has a ready ‘no funds’ answer, said a principal of an international school. Another principal of a well-known private school in the city said that the kids who are admitted under RTE Act are unhygienic, lack basic etiquette, and steal.

“Schools have stopped taking in these kids as they are very shabby, poor in English and they get picked on by other students which adversely impacts the classmates,” he said.

According to government rules, students from poor families can secure admission in private schools under 25% RTE quota.

“The state government is blaming the Centre for not providing the funds to implement the Act,” said a member from Telangana Parents Association. He added that more than 70% of such children are engaged as child labour. The state government has to send reimbursement details to the Union government every year.

Schools show that all seats have been admitted under RTE Act but in reality, there are no such students, said Mohammad Hussain. He said that legal action should be taken against schools who do not implement the RTE Act. The school education commissioner is turning a blind eye to these issues and there is no regulatory body or committee to monitor implementation of the Act,” Hussain added.

Punish errant schools, demands parents’ body

Most schools in Hyderabad, especially those in Jubilee Hills, are illegally running schools and do not have subject teachers. Schools with a license to teach up to class 4 are conducting classes for up to X standard. One teacher is teaching at least two different subjects, said Mohammad Hussain, president of Telangana Parents’ Association.

There are no safety measures and many schools do not have the required infrastructure, he said. They all should be penalised, he said.

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