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Parents demand extension of RTE quota till Class 10

Many parents whose children were admitted under the RTE quota to private schools and have completed Class 8 in the 2019-20 academic year are left in the lurch as the State government has not extended the RTE quota till Class 10.

School managements are asking these parents to pay the fees if they want their children to be admitted to Class 9. As many parents are unable to pay the fees, their children have been denied access to online classes, they alleged. There are parents who have pulled out their children out of school and admitted them in either low budget private schools or government schools as they are unable to pay the fees. An autorickshaw driver whose daughter completed Class 8 in 2019-20 under the RTE quota in a private school said that the school was not allowing her to attend online classes for Class 9 as the government has not extended it to this year.

“I have not put her in another school as I am waiting for the State government to take a decision. She has not touched a notebook or textbook since March. She is keen on studying, but I cannot pay the ₹40,000 that the private school is asking me to pay,” he said.

The State government, however, has not taken any decision in this regard which has put parents in a dilemma. While the State government was initially mulling over the possibility of extending the quota beyond Class 8 for students from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, the move was met with opposition from parents who were not from these communities and they demanded that it should be extended to all students.

Officials of the Department of Primary and Secondary Education said the State government is not keen on extending this move as it incurs a cost of around ₹560 crore on tuition reimbursements to private schools.

Across all classes, 5.06 lakh students are currently studying in private schools under the 25% reservation quota.

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