Pune: Controversy Erupts Over RTE Seats, Private Schools Accused of Exploiting Exam Policy

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Pune, 24th April 2024: Starting this year, the Maharashtra State Government has implemented a policy of conducting annual examinations, re-examinations, and addressing failures in classes V and VIII. However, there are emerging concerns that private schools are exploiting this decision by deliberately failing students enrolled in the 25 % reserved seats under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The Ministry of School Education of Maharashtra has initiated stringent measures to address this issue.

Under these measures, schools that fail students will undergo inspections by education authorities. Additionally, the Ministry of School Education has clarified that schools are responsible for evaluating students who fail. This year, the Maharashtra Government has established guidelines for the annual examination, re-examination, and evaluation processes for classes V and VIII in accordance with the Maharashtra Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2023 (Amendment) Notification.

An ordinance was passed on December 7, 2023, outlining the procedures for annual examinations and re-examinations for these classes. Students who fail the annual examination will have the opportunity to re-take the exam within two months of the results being declared, with additional supplementary guidance provided. If they fail the re-examination as well, they will be retained in the same class.

However, complaints have surfaced in the Ministry of School Education regarding private schools, particularly those offering English-medium education, exploiting this decision by unjustly failing students from RTE reserved seats. In response, Sharad Gosavi, the state’s director of primary education, has announced that the education department is taking strict actions to address this issue. As a result, such schools will face significant pressure to comply with regulations.