Bangalore: The Supreme Court's latest order allowing aided minority schools to stay out of the ambit of the Right To Education Act has left at least 1,200 students in the lurch, with private schools now refusing admissions for the academic year. Child rights activists say this will have wider implications across the country, specially for poor children from minority communities.
V Narayana and Rajesh Kumar have been running from pillar to post hoping to protect their children's right to basic education. Despite confirmed admissions under RTE in February, schools have refused to admit their children. This is a direct fallout of the recent SC order that states aided and unaided minority schools will not come under the Right to Education Act. Parents say over 1,200 students' admissions are at stake.
"They themselves are declaring linguistic minority. The situation is such that even if we go for paid seats, then also we don't get them. The school people are saying all seats are full," Rajesh Kumar said.
Private schools have long been against admitting 25 per cent students under the RTE Act, and this time, the minority clause has given them the excuse. "Today we basically shudder to think that a good number of schools basically are clamouring to have this minority status in one manner or the other. Now that's very disturbing. As I was pointing out, it would encourage a greater fraud," said KV Dhananjay, lawyer, Unaided Schools Association.
"We've found some defects in the present system. This year we're facing problems, many issues are there. We are thinking of framing laws to solve those problems," said Kimmane Ratnakar, Karnataka Education Minister.
In the past few weeks, more than 40 cases have been filed in the Karnataka High Court after schools rejected students that were facilitated by the education department. As another legal wrangle begins, the only question on the minds of parents is as to how do they tell their 6-year-olds not to go to school when all their friends start school in early June.