The RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of fourteen. Yet even after four months, the fate of 1,407 students in Maharashtra, is left shrouded in a cloud of uncertainty.
Right To Education Act, 2009 was passed with the promise of endowing the students of India, especially those belonging to disadvantaged sections of society as these families cannot afford to send their children to swanky and pricey schools. The RTE Act held hope for such people. But as of today, it has enveloped them in anxiety due to the inaction of the government and the Act’s failure to deliver on its promise.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation- BMC, publicized the record of admission details under the RTE, in April, first week. Out of the 4000 applicants, 2,593 students were allotted seats in the first round of admission. The applicants were sorted out into 190 pre-primary and 255 primary schools in Maharashtra, across various mediums and boards. In the second round, the remaining 1,407 were to be absorbed. Four months since, the parents are still awaiting news on commencement of the second round. Many of them have got their wards admitted to city schools forgoing their quota under the RTE, for the fear of loss of an academic year. The Education Department has directed schools to complete the admission process by 24th September 2015 and threatened to initiate legal action against them, if they fail to meet the deadline.
Many private schools refuse entry to students under the RTE quota on various pretexts. The Government across the nation has clamped down on several educational establishments which were operating without the required authorization or affiliation to a prescribed board without providing for rehabilitation of both students and teachers. The shutting down of several schools has resulted in a dismal situation of many students being forced to drop out of school. The RTE ought to be amended to ensure quality education to all the students especially since indiscriminate closure of school has left many students, especially belonging to rural areas and the city’s poor, deprived of basic education and at the same time have rendered many teachers who were employed by these schools at a nominal salary, jobless.