Sources say that over 600 schools from across the state have been seeking minority status from the department, which has been flooded with requests, as the RTE rule applies only to non-minority schools. As per the department’s new guidelines for securing minority status, schools will have to prove that at least 50 per cent of their students, trustees and management members belong to minority communities.
“Schools that fall under the minority quota will be provided with a certification by the minority department, but only after they meet the criteria,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, project director of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Deshmukh is also in-charge of the implementation of the act.
Certain educationalists, however, claim that though the concept of the minority quota is not clear or transparent, the government should not grant minority status to new schools that have applied for it.
“If they say that 50 per cent of the students are from the minority community, it is impossible. For example in a Parsi school there will only 10 per cent Parsi students out of 2,000. It will be same with other minority communities. As per our knowledge, about 70 per cent of the schools in the state are minority schools, but still most of them are yet to receive the status.
Also, the schools are still unaware of the admission process,” said Jayant Jain, president of Forum for Fairness in Education, an NGO, who has filed a complaint with the education department on the same.
Meanwhile, the education department has despatched letters to city schools, asking them to implement RTE guidelines immediately. However, most of the schools are still unaware of the exact admission procedure for enrolling underprivileged students.
“We have started responding to RTE guidelines and are simplifying the admission process. We think that not only minority, but even private schools should be exempted from the reservation policy,” said a principal of a private school, requesting anonymity.