Members of the Maha-Parents Association (MPA) staged a large-scale demonstration at the Collector’s office yesterday to protest against the state government for not ensuring the implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act in schools.
The protesters demanded action against schools that do not follow the law.
Members from parents’ associations of Rosary, Sinhgad Springdale, P Jog, Crescent, Abhinav, Gyanganga, JM Petit DAV, SVM and Dighi school claimed that the RTE law passed last year has still not been implemented and that it was a total failure in the state.
“Though the RTE clearly states that nobody should be denied admission, no screening process should exist for the same and no school should ask for donations, none of this is implemented in the state. The issue is being ignored,” said Ashrul Bhumkar, a member of the MPA.
As per the demands put forward, the MPA wants action to be taken against schools, which have been using the Sixth Pay Commission to hike fees and have not reimbursed fees to the students.
The members said that since the Supreme Court has ordered 25 per cent students to be given free education, they should not be forced to shell out fees and should not be forced to buy uniforms, stationery or notebooks from the schools.
“We want the schools to stop charging admission and extra fees for the next academic year 2012-13, but rather they charge only a monthly fee. If any of the schools do not follow the norms or rules, then they should be sent a contempt of court notice and a complaint should be lodged against them immediately. We also want all schools to set up Parents-Teachers Association (PTA),” said Anil Mahajan, another member.
He added that people are still unaware about their rights as per the Act and schools are taking advantage of this fact.
The MPA has planned to carry forward the protest across all cities in the state, including Nagpur, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Nashik next week if the government fails to respond.
“We had even protested last year, but no implementation was done even though they had given us assurance. States like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have implemented the RTE Act, but not Maharashtra,” said Shiva Phansalkar, president of MPA.
Ramchandra Jadhav, deputy director of education (additional charge) said that a way is being sought to settle the matter. “We’ll consider all their demands and discuss it with the higher authority. We’ll try and convey their message through all channels,” Jadhav said.