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Sidhgora school in RTE row

East Singhbhum district administration will seek a reply from Sidhgora’s Ramakrishna Mission School about its decision to detain some students in same classes as it tantamounts to violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The decision was taken by East Singhbhum district education officer-cum-district superintendent of education Indu Bhushan Singh on Friday after a meeting with over 50 parents and students, who had earlier protested in front of the district collectorate.

Ramakrishna Mission School, affiliated to the ICSE board, detained around 20 Class VIII students and 40 Class IX students after they performed poorly in the final and supplementary exams held in February and March this year.

But the parents claimed that the school could not detain them, as it was a violation of the RTE Act. They gathered outside deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal’s office and held an hour-long protest under the banner of Jamshedpur Abhibhavak Sangh.

Kaushal called up the district education officer and urged him to settle the issue.

“We will be issuing a showcause notice to the school tomorrow (Saturday), asking it to specify the grounds for keeping the students in their respective classes,” Singh said.

“The RTE Act clearly states that till Class VIII, no child can be held back or expelled. In this case, the school has not only refused promotion to the students but also asked their parents to admit them to some other cradle or opt for National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Though Class IX students don’t come under RTE purview, we have taken up the cudgels for them too as this kind of treatment is a violation of principles of education,” said Umesh Kumar, president of Jamshedpur Abhibhavak Sangh, an outfit formed by the parents of city-based schools.

The school stuck to its stand. “A few students of Class VIII failed in some subjects in their final and also supplementary exams. We gave them options to either study in the same class or seek admission in any other school. In the case of Class IX, we are governed by ICSE norms and cannot promote students performing poorly,” said school secretary Swami Amritarupand.