Bangalore: In what may be considered as the first statement alluding to the possible action the state government may take on private schools, which are threatening closure protesting the Right to Education (RTE) Act, Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education G Kumar Naik on Tuesday hinted that the recognition of these schools “will be in peril”.
Answering questions from the media on RTE at a press conference to announce the Shaalegagi Naavu Neevu programme, Naik said, “All schools have to comply to the RTE Act. Even the judiciary is monitoring the progress of its implementation. If schools resort to protest methods, their recognition will be in peril.” He was referring to the decision taken by the Karnataka (Recognised) Unaided Schools Managements’ Association (KUSMA) to shut schools from July 16-22 to protest the implementation of the RTE.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said, “The Act has been cleared by Parliament, and it is our duty to ensure education to every child. Schools cannot take the future of children for a ride. Then, the government will definitely take action.” The Minister called upon the agitating schools to come forward to discuss their problems.
Minority Status: Minority status of schools, which is the most contested aspect of the RTE Act, is likely to be cleared in the upcoming Monsoon Session of the State Legislature.
Without revealing what the Education Department has planned on that front, Kageri said, “Our proposal on minority status has moved from the Law and Finance Departments, and it will be placed before the House in the next session. I am hopeful that it will be passed.”
According to highly-placed sources, minority status of a school will be determined based on the composition of students.For instance, a school will be considered “minority” only if more than 50 per cent of the students belong to a minority community.
“If a school is hesitant to admit even 25 per cent because it wants to maintain the minority status, the remaining 75 per cent students should be ideally from a minority community. In the interest of the children’s right to education, we have proposed this move,” a top official told Express.