Alifiya Khan | August 26, 2015

Source:The Indian Express

PMC education board threatens to recommend de-recognition for schools that don’t fall in line.

In a contrast to Monday’s scenario when education officials went from school to school to press them for admitting students under the Right to Education (RTE) quota for children from the economically weaker sections, several city school representatives came to the Education Board on Tuesday to discuss their problems in RTE implementation with officials and later agreed to start the process of RTE admissions. Baban Dahiphale, administrative (education) officer of Pune Municipal Corporation, said that in the first positive sign on Tuesday after many days of struggle by education officials, seven city schools had agreed to give admissions to students at both pre-primary and Std I under the 25 per cent RTE quota for EWS students. “We are pleased that some schools like the Tree House School at Kothrud, City International School at Wanowrie and Satara Road, DES’s Primary School, New English Medium School, NCL School in Pashan and Delhi Public School have either agreed or even started giving admissions under the RTE quota. It is good news for both parents and education officials who have been struggling to see the implementation of the RTE Act. We hope to get more co-operation from other schools,” he said. Dahiphale said that while representatives of some schools like Tree House School and City International School had been called to the Education Board on Tuesday, others like DPS, Mohammadwadi were visited by officials after which they started giving some admissions. Newsline had earlier reported that when some of the schools like DPS school at Mohammedwadi and DES New English Medium School at Tilak Road allegedly refused to give RTE quota admissions, PMC Education Board officials had sent a letter to the Zilla Parishad primary education officer recommending that these schools be considered for de-recognition. But before the ZP education officer could act, these schools started giving RTE admissions, officials said. However, the problem continued at other schools. On Tuesday evening, there was a huge gathering of parents at the the PMC’s Education Board office to protest the reluctance of some schools in giving RTE admission. Angry parents locked the gates of the office. As tempers rose, police had to be called in. Later, the PMC education officer declared a three-day deadline for schools to complete the RTE admissions process and convened a meeting to discuss the implementation. It was only after he announced formation of 15 teams that the parents allowed the gates to be opened. “We are collating data on all the complaints received so far and making a ward-wise list. A total of 15 teams are being formed with three people in each team to visit the schools from Wednesday. Within three days, we plan to complete the process of RTE round I admissions. Our teams will be going to the schools with the list of students and getting the problems resolved on the spot. If schools resist giving admissions despite High Court orders, we have decided to recommend them for de-recognition or any other action if needed,” said Dahiphale. A Zilla Parishad team also visited the PMC Education Board office to discuss the problem. Mushtaq Shaikh, education officer (primary), said, “The team will have officials from PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation who will work together to strategise on RTE round I admissions as they are facing common problems. Also, we have asked them to send us proposals for de-recognition of schools that don’t co-operate.”