Schools to toe govt line on EWS quota | india | Hindustan Times
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Schools to toe govt line on EWS quota

As the Haryana government put its foot down on 25% admission quota for underprivileged students, private schools have decided to honour the provision despite ambiguities in the Right to Education Act (RTE) guidelines.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2011 01:09 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

As the Haryana government put its foot down on 25% admission quota for underprivileged students, private schools have decided to honour the provision despite ambiguities in the Right to Education Act (RTE) guidelines.

However, schools like The Shri Ram School have said the RTE Act is not applicable for this session as the matter is sub-judice.

But state education minister Geeta Bhukkal clarified all schools in Haryana are bound to follow the RTE guidelines.

Now that private schools will have to admit students from the economically weaker section (EWS) for the new session, some institutions have decided not to accept R800-900 for each student from the government.

They said the additional burden would be borne by parents of regular students as they would be required to pay a higher fee.

"In a meeting of Haryana Progressive School Conference on April 8, we decided that we would not deny admissions to EWS students, despite the fact that our apex organisations, including Independent Schools' Federation of India and National Federation of Unaided Schools, have moved the Supreme Court challenging the RTE Act. As the Haryana government wants the RTE Act to be implemented in the state, we have no other option but to adhere to it," said Col. (retd.) Partap Singh, general secretary.

Singh said that schools would allow admissions under pressure.

"What will happen to the EWS students, if the school federations win the case in the apex court? No one is there to reply to this situation. If parents have the right to choose the school, the school authorities too should be given the opportunity to select students."

A school principal, on condition of anonymity, said that some schools had decided not to accept the fee that the government would pay for each EWS student.

"Once we accept this amount, we would be legally bound to admit EWS students in our school. The Right to Education Act would also give rise to 'inspector raaj' as government officials would barge into schools, asking us to show them the EWS students."

He added," Some parents have started objecting to their wards being taught with the children coming from different demographics."

Manju Bahart Ram, chairperson of The Shri Ram School (TSRS), said, "We respect the government directive on the Right to Education, but as the matter is pending in court, the RTE does not apply on our school. Therefore, we are not going to allow admissions this session."