NCPCR assures action against schools flouting RTE

Schools in only four states have notified the rules

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | December 22, 2010



Right to education (RTE) violations will not be given a pass, as Haryana government schools found out the hard way. These schools had collected over Rs 10 crore from students for a 'development fund', but later had to everything to the last coin, after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the body responsible for monitoring RTE implementation intervened.

The soliciting and collection of the so-called development fund flouted the RTE rule of schools being barred from charging any capitation fee, donation or contribution or payment other than fee notified by the school. NCPCR acted on a complaint received by it and ordered the state government to ensure that students who had been made to contribute got their money back, Kiran Batty, national commissioner (RTE), NCPCR said.

While this may be a hard-to-miss flouting of the norms, many other violations have also been brought to the commission's notice.

Acting on one against the Modern School in the national capital, it recently helped a girl student to go back to the school after a gap of five months, Bhatty informed.

Though it has been over eight months since the RTE came into effect, only four states - Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim and Orissa - have notified the rules. Two union territories - Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chandigarh areadopting the central guidelines for the Act, she said. "21 states have just drafted the rules and have not notified yet. So the progress in states is slow," she added.

Bhatty says, among the states which have notified the rules not much development can be seen at the village level. “Schools at the village level are not informed about the progress. There is a lot of gap in between. But Rajasthan has been a better performing state. Here orders are actually going down.”

Though many states are yet to notify the rules of the act, which came into effect on April 1, Bhatty warned that there will be no excuse of not implementing it from the coming academic session.

“Last year schools had an excuse for not reserving 25 percents seats for children coming from economically weaker sections as the admissions were over by the time act was implemented. But they will be pulled up if they do not follow the rules from the next academic session. There will be no excuse,” the commissioner added.

There is a lot of confusion on the nursery admission guidelines issued by the Delhi government. A PIL was also filed by civil rights group Social Jurist challenging the validity of government's notification on nursery admission. Bhatty agreed and said, “Many things are still unclear. But we will have to wait for the Court’s order before taking any step.”

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