Lack of awareness about RTE Act keeping disadvantaged kids out

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50% seats reserved in private schools for children

Only 50 per cent of the 35,000 seats reserved in private schools for children belonging to disadvantaged groups and the economically weaker sections were filled last year in the national capital, a survey done by an NGO has found.

The main reason for the above was a lack of awareness among parents about the Right to Education Act, which stipulates that private schools shall reserve 25 per cent of their seats at the entry level for children belonging to 'disadvantaged groups' and 'weaker sections', found the survey which was conducted last year in November by NGO Indus Action.

According to the survey, only 3 per cent of the parents were aware of the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009. The NGO has held a workshop for 70 AAP volunteers from across Delhi as part of the party's initiative to identify families from the economically weaker sections (EWS) and inform them about the RTE Act.

The NGO also provided training on how to approach schools seeking entrance with nursery and school admissions currently underway in the city. "Lack of awareness about the law and difficulty in obtaining the necessary certificates from government authorities are the major roadblocks due to which around 1.5 lakh children struggle to get admission in private schools every year," said programme manager Aniket Doegar of Indus Action.

Even if some families manage to overcome the above hurdles, the schools refuse to accept their forms, which is again against the law, Doegar added.

According to the Delhi government's education coordinator, Amit Mishra, the initiative has been taken to help children belonging to EWS get admission in recognised private schools.

"As per the initiative, these volunteers will go from door to door and educate EWS families on how to use the provisions of the RTE Act" to ensure that their children get admission in private schools, Mishra said.

PTI

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