RTE: Boon for minority schools

It has been argued since a while now that implementing the RTE Act for only Hindu schools will be detrimental to them, while at the same time helping proliferation of minority schools. This article attempts to find out if this is indeed happening.

Given the lack of direct data, information from multiple sources had to be collated and strung together to arrive at the conclusion below.

The comparison is between the years 2012-13 and 2015-16. Some minor assumptions have been made, but they are conservative enough and should not distort the overall conclusions in any way.

The analysis is restricted to Bengaluru Urban area only. From a primary school Education point of view, the area has been divided into two – Bengaluru North and Bengaluru South.

The target school type is Private Unaided, since only these school types get reimbursement from the Government for admitting students under RTE.

In the 2012-13, as per DISE reports, the total number of Private Unaided Schools in Bengaluru were as follows.

  • Bengaluru North: 1143
  • Bengaluru South: 1610
  • Total number of schools in Bengaluru: 2753

As per a notification from the Department of School Education, Government of Karnataka, the total number of minority schools in 2012-13 in Bengaluru (North and South combined) was 160.

Information about the total number of minority schools in Bengaluru as of today is not readily available. Hence the below method of calculation.

The total number of Private Unaided Schools in the year 2015-16 in Bengaluru, per DISE reports, is as follows.

  • Bengaluru North: 1167
  • Bengaluru South: 1701
  • Total number of schools in Bengaluru: 2868

The Department of School Education in Karnataka maintains a website giving details of how many schools in each district got reimbursements for RTE admissions. Obviously, this list is comprised of Private Unaided Hindu schools. The numbers gathered from that portal are as follows.

  • RTE compliant schools in Bengaluru North: 1041
  • RTE compliant schools in Bengaluru South: 1437
  • Total number of RTE compliant schools in Bengaluru: 2478

Therefore, the total number of non-RTE compliant schools in Bengaluru comes up to (2868 – 2478) = 390.

The compliance rate of Hindu schools wrt RTE is extremely high in Karnataka. Of course, a few schools have gone to Court claiming they are linguistic minority. The Karnataka High Court has stuck down their prayers. The number of such schools was around 25+. Keeping room for some error, let us assume there are around 50 schools, from the 390, which will eventually fall into the RTE bracket.

That means, the number of minority schools as of 2015-16 is 340.

From 2012-2013 to 2015-16

  • Total number of Private Unaided Schools have grown from 2753 to 2868. A growth rate of 1.35%
  • Total number of Private Unaided Minority schools have grown from 160 to 340. A growth rate of 28%

These numbers only serve to reconfirm the logical deductions that can be made even by a simple analysis of the nature of the RTE Act itself.

You can also deduce the numbers, and the resulting effect, if the growth rate continues this way for another 10-15 years.

Note: The NCMEI website also shows that around 350 educational institutions from Karnataka got minority certificates between 2012-2015. This of course includes non-primary-school institutions also, but a majority of them happen to be schools. Therefore, the number – 180 – arrived above for the increase in minority schools is very much on the accurate side.

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