Private schools unclear about quota for disadvantaged students
Date: Thu, 2012-01-19
With admissions round the corner, private schools are still unclear about the 25 per cent reservation for disadvantaged students that has become mandatory under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.
Under the RTE Act, whose rules were notified here in October 2011, unaided private schools shall provide free and compulsory elementary education to children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. The Act provides a 25 per cent reservation for these children in Class I.
So far, however, there are no guidelines defining who the weaker sections and disadvantaged groups are. Many private schools are unclear on the kind of children to admit in the disadvantaged sections.
Speaking to The Hindu , Principal of St. Patrick's Matriculation Higher Secondary School R. Frederick said though the school adopted most of the RTE guidelines from the previous academic year, since they had not yet received instructions on how the 25 per cent reservation would be implemented, there was some confusion regarding the admission procedure this year.
Since the school would be open till April, however, they would only start their admissions in May instead of in March as was the usual custom. The school already had a reservation for disadvantaged students, and currently 18 per cent of their student strength was from weaker economic sections, but after the RTE, they would have to admit more students as per the guidelines, but they were unclear on the kind of guidelines in place, he said.
A senior teacher at Vivekananda Higher Secondary School said that they had also delayed the admission process because of the RTE guidelines. Typically, their class I admissions would begin by January, but this year, with the new rules, they had delayed it to May. Their LKG admissions however, were starting now.
The school was considering implementing the 25 per cent reservation for Kindergarten as well, but had not yet decided on the guidelines, the teacher said.
Principal of Amalorpavam Higher Secondary School S.A. Lourdesamy said they would have to admit 125 students from disadvantaged groups, but were waiting till the guidelines came out to decide. The Government had announced these students would be served mid-day meals as well, but the details were yet to be finalized, he said.
According to a source in the Education Department, the schools had been asked not to admit students till May, which was the case in Tamil Nadu as well.
The guidelines for the reservation would be available by the end of the month, but as of now, the plan was to have a 12.5 per cent reservation for socially disadvantaged groups and 12.5 reservation for economically disadvantaged children. The Chief Minister would have to approve of the guidelines before they were released, the source said.Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article2813350.ece