Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
A helpline to address queries about RTE
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.