Several schools flout RTE Act, conduct screening tests for children below 14 years
The dust is yet to settle on the admission procedure and several schools have already begun to screen children — a violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009. Shaswati Das reports.delhi Updated: Mar 12, 2012 00:53 IST
The dust is yet to settle on the admission procedure and several schools have already begun to screen children — a violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009.
As per the Act, children between the ages of six to 14 years cannot be subject to any form of screening.
Hassled parents, who wanted to change their children’s school, have been forced to rethink their decision when their child’s name did not figure in the list despite a screening procedure.
“We applied to Mother's International School for our son. They gave us a roll number and called us for an interaction on February 18. My son was tested on basic math, English, Hindi and story-telling,” said Sapna Neghban, whose child will now go to class I.
The school authorities refuted such claims. “We do not conduct admission tests for children. There has been some miscommunication,” said an official at the school.
But sources say that several other prominent public schools are conducting admission tests for children below 14 years.
“We will conduct a written test for all students seeking admission from classes I to IX on March 18 for children of parents working in Defence Forces. We took this route as a lot of students have applied to the school and no one has suggested an alternative,” said Brother Dominic Jacob, principal, Mount St Mary’s school.
Principals and teachers have reacted strongly to these schools conducting such tests.
“Schools have the option of conducting a lottery or following the system that was followed during the nursery admissions. But conducting tests is absolutely against the RTE Act,” said Ameeta Wattal, vice chairperson, National Progressive Schools Conference (NPSC).
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has received several complaints regarding such irregularities after parents took the matter to the Directorate of Education (DoE).
“Till November we had received close to 12,000 complaints and even now, complaints are pouring in. We will first assess the nature of the complaint and the action taken by the DoE and then take up the matter with the schools,” said a DCPCR official.
However, before taking the matter to the DCPCR, parents must first approach the DoE.