25 p.c. reservation for weaker sections in private schools on the cards
Date: Sat, 2011-12-31
Sprawling upmarket campuses of privately managed schools of Odisha are likely to see a change in composition of pupils as the State government has decided to enforce 25 per cent reservation for children belonging to weaker and disadvantaged groups of the society from the next academic session.
The School and Mass Education Department has identified non-enforcement of 25 per cent reservation for children belonging to weaker and disadvantaged groups as one of major challenges encountered in implementation of Right To Education Act in the State. Although this provision under the Act is made with a very far-reaching intent and vision for the children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups, the modalities for implementation of the same is clouded by several concerns like resistance from the private unaided schools, reimbursement procedures for such children expenditure and feasibility of provision of MDM to such children, the department said.
“However, we are determined to enforce the provision of RTE from the 2012-13 academic session. Though setting aside 25 per cent seats is not a big task, the major bottleneck is reimbursement of school fee of per child taking admission in expensive institutions. We have already moved Finance Department for making budgetary provision for the purpose,” S&ME Secretary Aparajita Sarangi toldThe Hindu on Friday.
Ms. Sarangi said, “hopefully we can expect a separate budget to fund education of these special children in private unaided schools.”
Delhi government has earmarked Rs.1,000 per child per month belonging to weaker and disadvantaged groups. The S&ME Department has estimated the cost of reimbursing per child tuition fee in private schools Odisha would come around Rs. 800 to Rs.1,000.
It is to be noted private school managements have already moved the Apex Court opposing enforcement of the provision in RTE. The matter is now sub-judice.
Apart from the issues of reimbursing the school fees, there are also practical concerns about such children being discriminated against within the school. “This requires consultations at various levels so as to come up with feasible solutions, and strong monitoring mechanism to prevent violations,” the department says.