A reply to the Right to Information (RTI) query filed by a few members of the Republican Party of India (Athavale) or RPI (A) revealed that despite repetitive reminders, several private schools in the city have abstained from filling 25 per cent seats reserved for students from economically backward class (EBC), which is mandatory as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Statistics revealed that of the 9,370 seats reserved for the EBC students in 420 private schools in the city, only 1,433 were filled so far. Accusing education department officials of being passive, corporators and members of PMC education board of RPI (A) protested outside Director for Primary Education Mahaveer Mane’s cabin, demanding stringent action against the schools for flouting RTE norms.
“It’s high time. The schools will reopen next month and several of them have flouted the norm. Today’s agitation was to seek answer from the director for not inspecting and taking action against these schools,” Balasaheb Janrao, an RPI (A) and a member of the PMC education board said.
RPI (A) corporator Siddharth Dhende said the education department officials only gave lip service about taking stringent actions schools not following the RTE.
“In reality, private schools have no regards for directives issued by the education department. But now we have decided to take the initiative and file police complaints against schools, as the education department is doing nothing.”
Commenting on the issue, Mahaveer Mane said he has called a meeting of education officials from zilla parsihad and PMC on coming Tuesday to
take stock of this year’s admission process and check of the number of admissions done under the 25 per cent quota.
“I am going to form a special committee, which will also have an RPI activist, to keep eye on the admission procedure. If we get information about a specific school not enrolling students under the RTE, we will definitely initiate against action against it,” Mane said.