MANGALURU: As many as 15 children, along with their parents and child rights activists, held a protest inside the deputy commissioner’s office, seeking their right to education, on Thursday. Many of them have been denied seats in private schools under the RTE quota. Parents urged deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim to make arrangements to provide seats to their wards in private schools of their locality as per the RTE Act.
Five-year-old Sheetal (name changed) from Basavalingappa Nagar colony in Pachanady, about 10km from the city, wanted to join the nearest private school.
However, the dreams of this dalit girl were shattered when the private school denied admission to her under the RTE quota. Her parents have been asked to visit the school on Saturday to check if she can be accommodated.
The story of siblings Vikas, 12, and Akash, 11, (name changed) is also pitiable. The children, who belong to the Scheduled Caste from Soojikallu in Akash Bhavan on the city outskirts, are dropouts. None of the authorities could bring them back to school.
It was through activists Dinesh Hegde Ulepady, Akshatha Shetty, U Radhakrishna Rao, Uday Kumar, Taalha Ismail, Safwan Junaid and others, 15 children, including 12 dalits, met the DC.
Parents, many of whom are poor labourers, said that they did not know about the formalities of applying for seats in private schools under the RTE Act.
“We were under the impression that all poor children will get seats under RTE during admission. The only private school in our locality denied seat to my sons, citing the reason that we have not filed application on time,” said a mother of two boys.
Advocate Hegde said, “It is the responsibility of the education department to create awareness on RTE Act and ensure seats to all poor children. Officials of the department should take initiatives to create awareness among poor families.”
The DC responded immediately and directed deputy director of public instructions Walter D’Mello to make arrangements to admit poor students to nearby schools immediately. D’Mello rushed to the DC’s office and assured protesting children, parents and activists that he will take initiatives to admit children in nearby schools. “I will write to the director of public instructions department to provide seats under RTE for children,” he added.