BANGALORE: While the state government has its ‘fingers-crossed’ over the implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, or the Right to Education (RTE) Act, officials at the grass-roots of implementation of the Act are concerned over the lack of awareness among the parents about the Act.
The Block Education Officers (BEOs) have echoed concerns that not many applications have been issued under RTE.
B H Ashwathnarayana Gowda, BEO Bangalore North 3 limits, said there were 348 schools under his jurisdiction that have to comply with the RTE.
However, he lamented that only 222 applications have been issued from his office till date. “While not a single school has blatantly rejected any applications, it hurts me that a very few parents have taken applications for admissions under RTE. Public awareness is low and as a result, their confidence in us has not increased,” he told Express.
Most of the BEOs from Bangalore North and South said they had received very few complaints from parents, a testimony that most schools were onboard.
“I have 296 schools under my jurisdiction and have issued more than 200 application forms. The schools are well aware of the Act and have accepted all forms. I don’t know why parents are being irresponsible. They take the forms from our office but do not submit it on time,” said Nanjundaiah, BEO of Bangalore South 4 limits.
Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) for Bangalore North T C Chandraiah said, “Schools are complying with rules. Barring from 3 per cent of the schools, the others are cooperating. No complaints have been forwarded to me.” The last date for schools to select students is June 5, and the last date for BEOs to approve admissions is June 10.
‘Awareness Needed’: Education Secretary G Kumar Naik acceded that public awareness towards RTE Act was low. Speaking to Express, he said, “It is true that there is low public awareness. It is the first year of implementation and it will take time for public to learn the prerequisites. Besides, RTE is not about shifting children from one school to another.” He added that the implementation of RTE was ‘an interesting step the state government was taking.’