Convent schools may come under the ambit of RTE Act

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The state education department is soon going to dispel the ambiguity that looms over the 'leased' convent schools whether they come under the ambit of the Right to education (RTE) Act or not. A decision in this regard is likely to be taken in a couple of days.

Highly placed sources in the education department said, Carmel Convent BHEL, St Xavier, St Mary, Campion School, St Theresa, St Thomas, All Saint's, St John's and Hema Higher Secondary among others are on leased land and hence it was not clear whether these schools would have to reserve 25% of their seats for the BPL children coming under the RTE Act.

Notably, most of these schools, barring Carmel Convent BHEL, have also either completed their KG and class I admissions or are in the process. Hence, parents are in a fix over whether their dreams of sending their children to such schools stand good.

District education officer (DEO), C M Upadhyay told TOI, "Recently at the meeting held at Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK) we have brought this issue to the notice of its commissioner and have asked for clarifications. A decision in this regard is likely to be taken in a couple of days."

He also said that since it is in lieu of a Supreme Court judgment, any decision taken would be done keeping in mind the consequences of that verdict.

"If the land is leased, on grant or on concessional rates, we need to ascertain in what proportion it was taken and what permissions need to be taken for the admissions," he said.

On the issue of how the admissions would be affected as most of these schools as they are already through with the admission of the junior classes, he said, "Even if there is some delay in the procedure, it is acceptable as the future of children depends on it. Whatever that is done will be under the ambit of the apex court's judgment."

Last year, after the SC ruling on exemption of unaided minority schools, the Catholic Church of MP had issued a statement in July that there are no aided Catholic schools in Bhopal. Only the Hindi section of one school is partially aided. Hence the schools do not come under the ambit of the Right to Education Act (RTE).