27 private schools get show-cause notices
The primary education department on Tuesday served showcause notices to 27 Patna-based private schools, asking the authorities of these schools to explain why they failed to enrol children from economically weaker section of the society under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Under the RTE Act - which promises free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 years - all private schools have to reserve 25% of seats for the poor.
Pushpa Jha, deputy director, primary education, said private schools cannot deny admission to underprivileged children and such students do not need to go through any screening. "They just need to show the annual income of their families and get the admission directly. The only condition is that schools should be in the radius of 3 km of the child's residence," Jha said.
Though altogether 27 schools were asked for explanation on Tuesday, Jha said the list included some of the prominent schools of Patna. "Few branches of DAV, Leeds Asian School, Gyan Niketan, Open Minds Birla and Rose Bud School have also been showcaused," Jha said. Authorities of these schools have been given one month deadline to submit their explanations.Jha said the notices were issued to schools before the beginning of the new session so that they do not deny admission to the poor children.
"Last year too, we had served notices to 35 schools, after which they started enrolling poor children. Schools often come up with lame excuses and tell us that they are not being approached by parents of poor children for admission. However, it has come to our notice that many schools deny admission to children from nearby slums," Jha added. She said the private schools get Rs 4,000 per annum from the government for education of one child. "Many parents are not aware of this facility. The department is ready to guide them in seeking admission for their children," she said.
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