PMK asks TN to protect education rights of poor

Chennai(PTI): PMK chief Ramadoss on Monday asked the Tamil Nadu government to take a string of measures to reform school education. The measures include ensuring the protection of rights of poor children to education as guaranteed under the Right to Education Act.

Alleging that private schools had already begun the process of admitting students thus violating the rules, Ramadoss said this would deprive poor children of their right to education. While schools under State, Matriculation and Anglo-Indian streams are allowed to hold admissions during April-May, for CBSE schools it was March, he noted.

“As admissions are being done by private schools and 100% seats are being filled, poor children in such schools’ neighbourhood are deprived of opportunity provided by the Right to Education Act.” Such admissions ahead of schedule should be prevented by the State and it should ensure protection of rights of children under the RTE Act.

As part of steps to reform education, he urged the State to administer admissions through a “Single Window System,” and stressed that proximity of students to a neighbourhood school alone must be the criterion for admission. Some schools conduct interview for children and their parents for admission to Kindergarten flouting norms, he said.

“State should take over schools that do not follow rules,” he said.

He alleged that several schools were collecting exorbitant fee in the name of donation and building fund and wanted steps to stop it.

“Although such violation of rules and loot in the name of fees happen openly, the regretful truth is that the Tamil Nadu government is not acting against them,” Ramadoss said.