Published: 04th July 2022
Why did this orphanage in Karnataka decide against enrolling children under the RTE act?
The children are often bullied when they are enrolled under the RTE quota, said Janisha, the manager of the orphanage
Many orphanages since the pandemic have been struggling to get donations which is stifling their financial expenses.
Food, rent, birthday celebrations, gas, laptops, printers, and staff salaries — all cost a lot to look after 23 children at Vatsalyapuram Orphanage, Jayanagar. However, the orphanage has chosen not to enroll the children under Right to Education (RTE) reservations in unaided schools, and are themselves financing the education of the kids.
The children are often bullied when they are enrolled under the RTE quota, said Janisha, the manager. “The process is long and tedious. We prefer financing their education ourselves. It is difficult though, as we haven’t received any donations in the last couple of years,” she said.
“Red tape is one of the main reasons why orphanages have never enrolled for reservation. Most of the kids are first-generation learners, and it is tough to fill out so many forms,” said Ieshan Misri, an education policy expert.
The Karnataka government amended the RTE Act two years ago following which parents are unable to enrol their wards under the RTE quota in private schools if there are no government or government-aided schools in their locality.
S Satimurthy, President of Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA), said that the government had made the amendments because they wanted to promote enrollment of students in government schools.
Orphanages choose to send kids to nearby schools because it saves travel costs and overhead expenses, Janisha said, and added that unaided schools often ask for money to provide textbooks, notebooks, stationery and so on.
“Government is coming up with initiatives to resolve these issues and are planning to conduct a census to identify the children in need and give them the rewards,” KUSMA President added.