Ways to implement RTE discussed

The Times of India
Publication Date: 
Sunday, 17 April 2011

The state is all set to implement the Right to Education (RTE) law and recently issued a notification that included the issue of private schools being asked to reserve 25 per cent seats for underprivileged children.

A meeting of industry representatives, educationists and social activists was held here on Thursday to discuss ways to implement RTE rules in the state, in association with Times Foundation and Yuva Unstoppable.

President of Assocham and managing director of Spice telecom Dilip Modi, president of Centre for Civil Society Parth Shah, state president of Assocham Bhagyesh Soneji, Manjula Pooja Shroff of Calorx Foundation, Renu Sheth of HBK High School, Memnagar, MG Chandran of JG Group of Schools and Manan Choksi of Udgam School along with other industry partners participated in the discussion.

Shah presented the participants with the idea of 'school choice' initiated by his organization which has been working on RTE. The system, implemented as a pilot project in Delhi, depends on choice of students and not of schools.

"We propose an education voucher system in which the students and parents are given vouchers by the education department that can be used for admission in a school of choice. The system is different than the present one where money is given to educational institutes to provide free education," Parth Shah said.

Representatives from the education fraternity presented their points of view and said that the system for choosing students should be easy and transparent.

Several suggestions such as drawing of lots and economic and geographical criteria for choosing the school were made by the educationists.

"We are interested in the initiative to bridge the gap between academia and industry. It is also part of corporate social responsibility for the industry. We came to the conclusion that quality of education should be maintained, fee structure should be revised and corporate funding be provided to schools," said Modi.