The East Singhbhum district administration has embarked on a special drive to crack down on schools flouting provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act and detect discrepancies, if any, in the admission process at the entry level.
A team, led by ADM (law and order) Bal Kishan Munda, went to Rajendra Vidyalaya in Sakchi on a surprise inspection on Thursday and found that only six BPL students had been admitted this year as against 25 seats reserved under the BPL category as per the RTE provisions.
Sources said the school had distributed 25 forms for BPL students, out of which 23 were submitted. “Yet ultimately, only six children have been enrolled,” said an education department official.
While the administration is trying to find out why so many reserved seats are still lying vacant at Rajendra Vidyalaya, the team has decided to conduct surprise inspections at all private schools in the steel city to see if the RTE provisions are being implemented properly.
The team will check admission registers, the number of forms sold and number of seats lying vacant even after the first round of admission.
Apart from Bal Kishan Munda, other members on the team are district superintendent of education Indu Bhushan Singh, SDO (Dhalbhum) Prem Ranjan and additional district programme officer Prakash Kumar. The team was formed by deputy commissioner (DC) Amitabh Kaushal in May following complaints from parents and students who accused private schools of violating various RTE norms.
“There have been too many complaints, almost against all private English medium schools. Parents and social activists alleged that schools were flouting rules. Therefore, the team has been formed to prove their veracity,” said DC Singh.
This apart, a number of private schools have been detaining students at various levels up to Class VIII in violation of the RTE norm.
Sources at the district education department said the schools were reluctant to take students belonging to BPL category because the state government had not been paying the compensation.
“Many schools show vacant seats under the reservation category and later take in general candidates. Practically, the reserved seats are never filled up with poor students at any private school,” said an official of the district education department.