Unaided private schools seek amendments in Right to Education

Delhi: Representatives of ‘budget private schools’ — unaided private institutions which often cater to weaker sections of society — from eight states Thursday formed an alliance advocating amendments in the government’s education policies.

The representatives formed the National Independent School Alliance (NISA) to focus on the Right to Education (RTE) Act which, they said, threatens some three lakh such schools with closure due to lack of resources.

Calling for amendments in some provisions of RTE Act, the alliance’s national coordinator R.C. Jain said: “We welcome the RTE but some of the provisions of the law seem to be hastily drawn.”

NISA co-coordinator Rajesh Malhotra said: “Left as it is, the act will affect more than 90 million students in almost three lakh BPS in the country.”

“The government should try to support us but on contrary, the RTE threatens our very existence,” he added.

Representatives also lambasted the stringent criteria for private schools, regarding the infrastructure and teachers’ eligibility, as the schools who do not fulfill the criteria, face steep penalties and closure.

R.C. Rose, the state representative from Rajasthan, said: “This act doesn’t consider the diverse geographical conditions of the remote and marginal areas of the country.”

Agreed Manipuri delegate Sem Haokip: “In the areas where we work, infrastructure like playgrounds and libraries are not practical.

“How are schools in remote and tribal areas going to find highly qualified teachers and pay them according to the Sixth Pay Commission pay-scales,” he asked.

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