Thursday, July 15, 2010

Right to Education likely to be watered down

In what could end up diluting the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the government is considering a crucial amendment whereby private schools will not be required to admit all applicants and can screen and select most of their students.
The admission-as-an entitlement provision will be limited to poor children in the neighbourhood for whom 25% seats are set aside. Schools will continue to have the right to screen 75% of the admissions, in a major amendment prompted by sustained lobbying by private schools. Public schools were up in arms, insisting the no-screening clause could seriously affect their quality.

Signalling a rethink, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said, "There are practical problems ... How will schools like Doon, Mayo, Modern and others give random admission to children I have suggested that while schools will not screen 25% of poor children who have to be taken,75% will go through screening". Section 13 of RTE Act not only bans screening but fixes a penalty of Rs 25,000 on a school for first contravention and Rs 50,000 for later.

Source: The Times of India, July 15, 2010

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