Unaided minority schools junk state RTE directive

Seek permanent exemption, not 'temporary' as state circular states.

A state education department circular clarifying RTE norms to be implemented by schools has raised the hackles of unaided minority schools. The managing bodies of these schools are crying foul over temporary exemption granted to them and are demanding permanent exemption allowed to them.

The circular dated December 5 issued to schools on January 2 states that unaided minority schools will not have to follow the clause of allowing 25% of seats to students belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), but confusion still prevails with officials stating that the decision is not final.

Education department officials said they have decided to exempt unaided minority schools for the time being, until there is further clarity on the amended RTE Act.

N B Chavan, Deputy Director of School Education, Mumbai, said, "We issued the circular to schools stating details of implementing the RTE Act. We had already issued a timetable for admitting students to fill the 25% EWS seats. Unaided minority schools are exempted for the time being, but this is not the final decision."

Unaided minority schools are demanding permanent exemption from the RTE Act, especially the 25% EWS quota.

"Following the Supreme Court order and the amendment to the RTE Act thereafter, we are exempt from implementing these clauses. How the education department interprets it, the officials are still not clear, and we don't care," said M P Sharma, director of G D Somani School at Cuffe Parade.

Principal of a Malad School said, "Even after all this, if the education department is seeking clarity, what can we say? We have demanded exemption, that too permanent. As we are unaided minority schools we do not come under the purview of the RTE Act."

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