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Nov 07, 2012 at 04:05pm IST

Bangalore school chops off RTE quota kids' hair

Bangalore: The Oxford English School in Laggere in Bangalore branded students from the economically weaker sections because they were admitted under the 25 per cent quota under the Right to Education Act. The parents of four students at the unaided school in Bangalore have alleged that their children were branded by cutting of tufts of their hair, just because they had been admitted under the Right To Education quota.

This was done to reportedly distinguish the 1st standard students from other students. The parents also allege the kids were made to stand separately during the morning assembly and were made to sit at the back in class.

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Secretary G Kumar Naik has asked for a report on the incident from the zonal officers. "The incident has just come to the notice of the government. I have asked for a report on this from the zonal officers. We'll take action after we go through the report. Complaints of this kind haven't come in from anywhere else," Naik said.

The school is a part of the Karnataka Unaided School Managements' Association (KUSMA) which has announced a shut down to protest the implementation of RTE.

1,800 schools under KUSMA, have been shut down for a week as part of the association's protest against the implementation of the RTE.

A Public Interest Litigation was filed on Tuesday in the Karnataka High Court seeking a direction to the state government to implement the Right to Education Act.

The PIL against state government, the Chief Secretary, Education Secretary, President and Secretary of KUSMA accused them of failure to implement the RTE Act despite the Supreme Court in its April 12 order upholding its validity.

Petitioner, Bangalore-based advocate S Vasudeva, also sought a direction from the court to declare as "illegal, unwarranted and impermissible in law" the bandh call given by KUSMA to 1,800 privately managed schools over the RTE Act.

He contended that the bandh call was a violation of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21(A) of the Constitution.

The petitioner pleaded for an enquiry into the "non-admission" of SC, ST and other backward class students in KUSMA member schools and take appropriate action in accordance with law.

The incident raises certain big questions:

- Are these schools creating a class-divide in the society?

- Should the registration of such schools be scrapped immediately?

- Is such untouchability being practised in other schools as well?

(With additional information from PTI)

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