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Right to Education: Schools chase minority status

DNA   |  May 28, 2012, 05:40AM IST

Jaipur: To skirt the provisions of the Right To Education (RTE) Act, several city-based private schools are chasing minority status. A recent Supreme Court order exempted the minority institutions from implementing the RTE Act triggering a mad rush among private institutions in city to apply for exemption because of their minority status.
According to officials in touch with DNA at least 13 schools of the city are either seeking legal advice or are already in the process of claiming exemption from RTE rules under the minority clause.
The Apex court ruling allows minority institutions to maintain their admission rules. For instance, the institutions can interview parents and children, decide their own admission norms and need not reserve 25 per cent of the seats for economically weaker sections of the society as prescribed by the RTE Act.
Interestingly, many of these schools were set up by societies or trusts on a religious or linguistic basis.
Principal of All Saints Church School, father JC Joseph said that they are going for the minority status. Other city-based Christian schools like the Saint Michael also confirmed that they are applying for a minority status.
“We are soon applying for minority certificate as the school is run by minority body,” informed Vijay of the school administration.
Another school Emanuel Mission School is also considering applying to the authorities for a minority berth.
Some schools are even planning to hop on to the bandwagon claiming exemption as a linguistic minority. Sources said that Sadhu Vasvani School was also mulling to apply for a minority status. The Jain community, whose application of being treated as a minority is under consideration, also feel that they too need a minority certificate for their schools.
“We would surely have applied for the minority certificate had we been accorded the minority status,” NK Sethi of Mahaveer Public School said.
Most schools were of the view that they would not be able to handle the burden of RTE since they do not get any aid from the government.
"We are working our way to get the status of minority so that we do not come under RTE. How can we adopt provisions of the Act, when several students will have to be given admissions on reserved seats? How are we going to manage their studies when we do not get any aid, particularly when we are already giving concession to weaker sections?" father JC Joseph of All Saints Church School said.
Commenting on this mad rush of the schools, president of unaided private schools of Rajasthan, Damodar Prasad Goyal said, “The institutions have been forced to go for minority status in a situation resulting from the recent judgment of Supreme Court. Many of these institutions will definitely take the advantage of minority status to get out of the ambit of RTE.”
Several schools of the city including Saint Anselm’s, Saint Xavier’s, Saint Angela Sophia School, Saint Soldier’s, Ryan International and other residential schools are already excluded from the RTE provisions.

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