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Being the daughter of the Principal of a school in Pilani, Rajasthan and a first year law student at GLC, Mumbai I was really shocked when I heard about the chronicles of the Right to Education Act, 2009 [RTE Act]. 

The Schools religiously followed the instructions given to them by the Block Office and had granted admissions under RTE for the academic year 2011-12. The concerned authorities when visited my mother’s school, they said: “Aapke school ka jo pratham kaksha hai, uss ke kul sankhya ke 25 pratishat bacchon ko jo k backward class ya phir economically backward hai na unhe aapko RTE ke tehet admeeshion dena hoga” The authorities confirmed, if they meant the 1st standard, or the 1st class (as in Nursery) of the School. “Nahi nahi jo bhi aapke school ka pratham kaksha hai, usmein”. Okay done. Admission granted to 25% of the strength of the Nursery class. All well. Reimbursement awaited.

The next academic year 2012-13; Admissions granted in the same manner in Nursery class and the particular 25 pratishat students promoted from Nursery retained their RTE seats. Reimbursement awaited.

Now sometime in November 2012, the Block Education Officer called for a meeting of all the Schools in Pilani for discussing about RTE admissions. Hoping for reimbursement, they attended. But to their utter surprise (or shock) the announcement was made that all RTE admissions given in the academic year 2011-12 shall be cancelled as no proper and uniform method of admission had been followed and hence the reimbursement shall also not be granted. The expenses for 2011-12 shall be borne by the respective school authorities. And for the next academic year, the fees shall be collected from the parents. They denied giving anything in writing.

I am pretty sure the School's mental reaction would have been “Kya! Kya! Kyaa! Yeh nahi ho sakta!” [background music: thunderstorm].

Now, when my mother questioned them, they mentioned that “you had admitted students to Nursery, and not Class 1 as described in the RTE Act. Moreover, the Rajasthan State Board (to which the school is affiliated) recognizes only class 1 on-wards hence we can’t really do anything. Madam 2011-12 ka accounts toh close hogaya, ussey jane deejiye” My mother counter questioned as to then why the schools who had admitted in Class 1, even their admissions stood cancelled. They had no reply for the same. [Something fishy, eh?]

IF the Government refuses to reimburse the money, how would schools run? Each Rupee matters in the School’s budget. The Schools did their duty by granting admissions under the RTE Act and as per the instructions given to them and now the Government is refusing to do its own duty of reimbursing the money. Further, if the Schools ask for the fees for 2012-13 from the parents, they would complain under the RTE Act that the School is asking us to pay money. This has become a "na ghar ka na ghat ka" situation for the Schools!

When I came to know of the whole picture, which is just a day back, I went through the RTE Act and also The Rajasthan State RTE Rules. And I found answers to the questions of my mother (Ah! Hopefully I am right)

1)      Section 12 of the Act, mentions about the procedure of admitting students under RTE. It clearly mentions that any school as mentioned under clause (n) of Section 2 imparts pre-school education, the provisions of admission under this Section shall apply for admission to such pre-school education.

2)      Now, Section 38 of the RTE Act gives power to States to make their own Rules for various purposes out of which the most relevant is the extent of reimbursement. The State Rules mention that reimbursement shall be made twice a year for April to August and September to end of Session: Forget twice a year! Where is even once in two years!?

3)     The amount to be paid (per-student expenditure, to be calculated on the basis of amount spent by the Government on government schools divided by the students in such schools) might be lesser or even more than what actually a student pays in a particular school, even that minimum amount the government is unable to pay. Why this Kolaveri?


The newspapers say that funds have been released for reimbursement. Where have they gone then? Somebody mixed them up in Dal-Bati Choorma!? Or they just leaked into the pockets of the people at each level? Who knows?!  The person who came for some inquiry, told my mother “Dekhiye Madam, aaj kal RTE aur RTI: yeh dono bahut hi iss-strong Acts hain Government ke. Inn dono se na koi bach nahi sakta” Is there now a need to file an RTI on RTE?! [Clash of the titans] What is the position in other States? Would love to know!

Not because it involves my mother’s school, but there is some gross injustice, something very wrong that is happening and people are suffering. Corruption? Misinterpretation of the Sections of the Act and the Rules? What? Something. For sure. Need to be found out. ASAP.

 oh! by the way! Happy Holi to all of you!!

P.S. This is my first blog post! Please do give your views! Criticisms and Appreciations are welcome!

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