Bengaluru: Activists, politicians and even education department officials are divided over the 25 per cent RTE quota in private un- aided non- minority schools.
Those opposed to it warn it could lead to the closure of thousands of government schools while the state pumps money into private schools in the name of reimbursing them for the fee of the underprivileged students.The money could be better spent on improving facilities in the government’s own schools and making them attractive to students, they argue.
In fact, former Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Kimmane Rathnakar wanted a public debate on the issue, going by an education department officer.
“When he openly opposed the RTE quota he was criticised. But the reality is if the government uses the amount released as fee reimbursement to private schools, to improve facilities in its own schools, they could get a fresh lease of life,” says the officer.
Among the RTE’s strongest critics are senior JDS leaders, H D Revanna and, YSV Datta, who hold it responsible for the closure of over 2,500 government schools and warn that another 4,000 may face a similar fate owing to a lack of students in the next couple of years.
They believe the Rs 2,200 crore spent on fee reimbursement in private schools under RTE should be used to give government schools a facelift instead.
Education activist, Sheela Rao is upset with the transfer of teachers from government schools.
“Thousands of teachers are being transferred because there are not enough students in these schools. Such information is not shared with the public for fear of protests. But how can a school can be run with just one or two teachers?” she asks....