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Study rights glare on schools

The education department is planning to initiate action against 19 schools of the city for their failure to adhere to Right to Education (RTE) norms.

The act stipulates earmarking 25 per cent school seats for students hailing from economically weaker sections of society. In the academic session 2013-14, the 19 institutes failed to admit poor and underprivileged students society in Class I or Nursery.

Principal secretary, education department, Amarjeet Sinha said: “According to RTE rules, action would be initiated against these 19 schools.”

Some of the institutes that have failed to admit poor students include RPS Public School, Radiant International School, St Dominic Savio’s High School, Gyan Niketan and others.

R.S. Singh, deputy director, education department, said: “Under the RTE norms, if a school fails to take admission, first a notice will be served seeking the reason. If the reply is unsatisfactory, a fine would be imposed. If required, an FIR would be lodged.”

According to sources, many schools, in their reply, have said they did not get economically weaker pupils from the surrounding areas. Subsequently, the education department directed the schools to expand their respective areas and admit students from economically weaker sections.

The list of 19 schools also includes Patna Central School. However, the institute principal, O.P. Singh, refuted charges made by the department. He said: “This year, the school has taken in 10 students from economically weaker sections in Nursery.”

After the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, all schools except minority unaided (religious and linguistic minorities included), to reserve 25 per cent of seats for children from the disadvantaged sections, the expenses of which would be borne by the state government. For the 2013-14 academic year, the department has earmarked Rs 4,311 per child per year under RTE, while the per child per year expenditure borne by the state government was Rs 3,077 in 2011-12 and Rs 4,142 in 2012-13.

In the 2013-14 academic session, around 61 schools in Patna district had admitted 700 students from underprivileged backgrounds. Some of the schools include Krishna Niketan, DAV Public School Walmi, BD Public School, Patna Convent and others.