Published: 06th December 2018
If there is a government school within 1km, kids should go there, K'taka makes it compulsory under RTE
The new amendment to the RTE Act allows parents to enroll children in private schools only when there are no government schools within a radius of 1 km
Considering the decrease in the number of students in government schools of Karnataka, the state government has decided to significantly amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The amendment makes it mandatory for parents to approach neighbourhood government schools before applying for an RTE seat in private schools. The state government also wants to cut down the expenses amounting up to 1,500 crores annually on private (un-aided) schools by implementing the RTE Act under the compulsory education policy.
The state cabinet, on December 5, approved the proposal to bring changes to the act. The new amendment to the act allows parents to enroll children in private schools only when there are no government schools within a radius of 1 km. However, if there is no government institution in the vicinity, first the children will be considered at an aided institution, and if that is not possible either, the student will be allocated to a private school.
Earlier, RTE seats were given only to private schools and the government used to pay for the education of these students. There was also a mandate that private schools should set aside 25 per cent of seats for students coming from the RTE quota.
Under the proposed amendment, the child would be eligible for an RTE fee reimbursement from a private school only if there is no government school in the vicinity or if the child has failed to get a seat in the government school, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said.
Assuring that the decision is viable, Byre Gowda said, "Presently, the government is reimbursing the fee for all the students under RTE seats. This has, in a way, further hampered the functioning of government schools and is defeating the resolve of the government to improve enrollment and standards in government schools. Now, under the proposed amendment, parents can approach for RTE seats in private schools only after approaching the government school in the neighbourhood. They will get automatic RTE benefit if there is no government school in the neighbourhood."
States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu already have such a law in place and it has apparently yielded positive results in terms of increase in the number of enrollments in government schools.