Srinagar, Feb 16 : Despite the passage of around three years since the Right to Education (RTE) Act-2009 became applicable in J&K, the private schools continue the admission process as per their old practice.
The move has deprived the students of EWS from getting educational facilities in the top notch schools of the Valley as the schools do not reserve any quota for the poor students, as mandated under RTE Act-2009.
The RTE Act-2009 became applicable in J&K following the abrogation of Article 370 from the constitution of India and reorganization of J&K into a Union Territory (UT).
After the applicability of the RTE Act in J&K, poor people had high hopes of getting education from elite private schools. But the government has failed to ensure the implementation of the Act in J&K. giving a free hand to schools to continue with the old practice of doing admissions.
As per the Act, all the private schools have to keep 25 percent reservations for students belonging to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS). The cost of the education of these poor children will be borne by the government, as per the Act.
Ironically, the government has miserably failed to implement the Act in schools across Jammu and Kashmir as the private schools are creating hurdles in strict implementation of the Act.
“If the Act gets implemented in J&K, the expenditure on the 25 percent reserved quota enrolled in private schools has to be reimbursed by the school education department exactly according to the expenditure incurred on the education of each student enrolled in the government schools,” a top official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer, adding that the government was delaying the implementation of the Act as it is yet to get exact idea about the expenditure on each student in government school.
This year, the government ordered shifting of the academic session from November to March following which the directions were issued to the private schools to start the admission for kindergarten students in March.
However, the majority of the schools have already completed the process and have secretly informed the parents about the selection of their kids in the school.
“The schools are only delaying uploading the list on the official website which will be done in March to please the government,” the official said.
Notably, in September last year, the divisional administration Kashmir constituted a committee to scrutinize and oversee the admission process in the private schools.
The committee was supposed to scrutinize the admission process and the selection of the candidates under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota as per the lease agreement executed between the Government and School authorities.
“The committee will oversee the process of admission through the draw of lots if the number of forms received is more than the allocated quota,” the order reads.
An official said the constitution of the committee was an eye wash as the government directed the schools to delay the admission process till March.
“The admission process has already been completed in schools so the constitution of the committee will not serve any purpose now. They cannot scrutinize the process as the schools have already announced the selection of kids to parents,” an official said.
Despite repeated attempts, Principal Secretary School Education Department (SED) was not available for his comments on the issue—(KNO)