Private schools use loopholes to wriggle out of RTE norms

The Right to Education (RTE) Act to ensure students from economically weaker sections (EWS) get 25 per cent reservation in admissions has left much to be desired at the ground level as far as execution is concerned.

Education officials have pointed out some loopholes that enable private schools to take it easy.

As per the latest GR, flying squads have to be formed in every district to ensure schools comply with RTE provisions.

The squads are constituted by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of every Zilla Parishad and have the powers to take action against schools violating any of the enabling provisions of the RTE Act.

But these squads hardly have any significance as they won't be able to take direct action against private schools, which are actually the ones that seem to be in the wrong lane when it comes to implementing RTE norms, officials said.

"The competent authority in case of ZP schools is CEO. Hence, whenever a school is found doing something against the fabric of the RTE, the CEO has the right vested in him to take action. In case of private schools, the competent authority is the school management," said a top official from the education department, who did not wish to be named.

"Hence whenever any private school is found violating RTE norms, the squads can write to the school management complaining about their work and ask them to take action," he said.

"Whether the management will take corrective action against its own members and teachers is anybody's guess," he added.

Official records show Maharashtra has around 1 lakh primary and secondary schools run by local self-governing bodies and private managements.

The government has specifically pointed out that existing mechanism for inspection of schools as per laid down norms has failed to enhance quality of education.

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