A helpline to ad­dress queries about RTE

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - METRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

LUC­KNOW: Now, here is a helpline num­ber that will ad­dress all queries re­gard­ing Right to Ed­u­ca­tion (RTE). The state ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment, along with Bharat Ab­hyu­daya Foun­da­tion (BAF), has re­cently launched RTE helpline num­ber - 08030636036.

How does it work? One has to give a missed call on the num­ber and wait for a re­ply call within 24 hours. The caller at the other end will give a pa­tient hear­ing to the queries and help get them ad­dressed.

Not just the missed call ser­vice, vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions and the state ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment are us­ing other ways to cre­ate aware­ness about RTE. Th­ese in­clude door-to-door cam­paign by dis­tribut­ing us­ing easy-to-un­der­stand pam­phlets, TV ad­ver­tise­ments to be aired on Do­or­dar­shan and ra­dio jin­gles.

Out of 110 wards in the city, 31 are ‘un­served’ (with­out gov­ern­ment or gov­ern­ment-aided school). It is here RTE faces max­i­mum chal­lenge. All 4 to 7 years old eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially weaker sec­tion chil­dren in such wards are el­i­gi­ble for ad­mis­sions to nurs­ery or class 1 of unaided non-mi­nor­ity pri­vate schools of their ward, said Sam­ina Bano, founder chair­per­son of BAF.

She said, “Sec­tion 12 of the RTE Act re­quires ev­ery unaided recog­nised non-mi­nor­ity pri­vate school to re­serve 25% seats in pre-pri­mary or class 1 for dis­ad­van­taged and eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tion chil­dren.”

The reser­va­tion is ap­pli­ca­ble till class 8 where the cost of fees, uni­form and books is re­im­bursed by the gov­ern­ment di­rectly to the schools. This scheme is of­ten con­sid­ered as the big­gest Public Pri­vate Part­ner­ship model in the world by many lead­ing ed­u­ca­tion­ists.

As per the ‘State of the Na­tion’ re­port re­leased on March 24, 2015 in Delhi, 21 lakh RTE seats are avail­able in the coun­try, of which UP ac­counts for 6 lakhs (30%of the to­tal). Un­for­tu­nately, the RTE re­port card of UP has been ex­tremely dis­mal with only close to zero fill rate (54 ad­mis­sions in 2014-15 and 60 ad­mis­sions in 2013-14), said Bano.

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