Mumbai: Only 1 out of 453 BMC-aided schools follows RTE

An RTI filed by a college student reveals that the other schools are not even penalised for non-compliance

Around 60 per cent of schools aided by the BMC’s education department don’t follow the Right to Education Act, while the remaining schools flout admission mandates under the RTE quota, as the authorities revealed in a response to an RTI (Right To Information) query filed by a law student.

The RTI reply states that no penalty is imposed for non-compliance
The RTI reply states that no penalty is imposed for non-compliance

Depressing numbers
Out of 453 BMC-aided schools, only 179 followed RTE norms, but even these schools flout the RTE admission quota mandated by the government. While the schools were directed to admit a total of 9,838 students under RTE, only 1,357 were given admission – this is barely 14 per cent of the desired quota. The only institute in full compliance is the IIT Campus School in Powai. The RTI was filed by Nishita Banka, a third-year student at the NMIMS Law College, which has introduced RTI as a subject in its curriculum. Banka also enquired about the penalties imposed, if any. The BMC replied that no penalties were imposed for non-compliance of RTE, since there was no notification from the government about the same.

“The response only relates to aided schools and highlights that only one in 453 schools respects the law. By their own admission, there is no penalty for defying the law and it is regrettable. Why keep a rule that is openly flaunted? If the authorities feel it is unwanted, it should be scrapped or it should be followed as per the law,” noted RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi said.

What is RTE?
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation, envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school that satisfies certain essential norms and standards.

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