Pushing children out of school: Govt. Schools Collect Donations from Parents

According to the Right to Education Act, free and compulsory education means free. It should not be restricted in any form.

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This government is on the verge of collapse. It is a travesty that the government which gives crores of rupees  to religious matts, suspicious people like Jaggi Vasudev etc. does not have funds to run schools – B. Shripad Bhatt

The Karnataka government has sent a notification that a monthly donation of Rs 100 is collected from the parents of the children for maintaining the basic facilities of the government schools.

The Director of Public Education issued a circular on October 19, saying that the donation given by the parents under the name of ‘Namma Shala – Nanna Koduge'(Our school, my contribution) scheme should be used for basic facilities like paying the electricity bill, maintenance of toilets, etc. It is said that SDMC will be responsible for issuing receipts and keeping separate accounts.

There was strong objection in the public sector soon after this project was announced. Increasingly the economically poor, Dalits, and backward communities are sending their children to government schools. Objections have been raised that it is not right on part of the government to kick the stomach of those who are already suffering from price rises and unemployment.

Talking to gaurilankeshnews.com, State SFI Secretary K. Vasudevareddy expressed his outrage saying, “The new education policy says that resources should be allocated locally, but there is no mention of government grants. As a part of that policy, the government is implementing such schemes and keeping poor children out of school,”.

Thousands of children have dropped out of school after covid. In such a situation, it is not right for the government to collect money from parents already suffering from poverty. The previous government used to give Rs 2 per day as an incentive to the children coming to school. The Andhra government is giving 15,000 per annum to the account of mothers of girls attending government schools. But only the BJP government of Karnataka has stooped to such a low level of collecting donations from poor children.

Education expert Dr. VP Niranjanaradhya said, “The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that state governments should provide at least primary education free of charge to all children. According to 21A of the Constitution, education is a fundamental right of children. According to the Right to Education Act, free and compulsory education means free. It should not be restricted in any form. The state government should provide grants and basic facilities should be provided by local governments. But after Nagesh became the education minister, the violations of the law went beyond the limit. He should be fired,” he expressed his displeasure.

The government has given 100 crores to Jaggi Vasudev. 250 crore has been offered to Sanskrit University. Chanakya university has been given land and money. It was offered to give money for useless Vedic learning. When there is money to pay for all this, is there no money to provide basic facilities to government schools? Is the government begging? Do you have the humanity to pay 100 rupees per month as a poor person’s wages? He expressed outrage.

If some parents donate and some don’t, it will lead to discrimination between children. Financial constraint is also the main reason why parents and SDMC members do not attend monthly meetings. Because it is natural for teachers to force them to school requirements. In such a case, this circular allows for more collection so that parents do not turn to schools. This is a conspiracy to throw Dalit children out of school. After that,  private educational institutes will entice saying if you pay Rs 100 per month, come to us and thereby eventually close all the government schools. He expressed concern saying this is what the government wants.

Teachers who have been receiving salaries from government schools for so many years should donate if they want. Instead of donating up to Rs 100 crore to the Punyakoti scheme for adopting cows, government employees have questioned whether the same amount could be given to government schools.

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B. Sripad Bhatt, activist, and educationist, said that this action of the government is shameful. “This BJP government is morally collapsing day by day. This government is accused of getting 40% commission and is on the way to collapse. “It is a shame that the government, which gives crores of money to the monasteries and the suspicious Jaggi Vasudeva, does not have the funds to run the school,” he said.

It is not only cruelty that government schools are involved in the business of collecting money from parents for education, but it is a direct violation of Article 21A, which says ‘Free compulsory quality education for children aged 6-14’ and Article 45, which says ‘Free compulsory quality education for children aged 0-14’. Violation of Section 3 of Chapter 2 and Section 12, 13 of Chapter 4 of the RTE Act 2009.

The article was first published in our Kannada website. It has been translated in English by Bharath Hebbal.

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