– Reshma Ravishanker
A majority — 72 percent – of students admitted under s. 12 (1) (c) of the Right to Education (RTE), Act, 2009, in private unaided schools in Karnataka attend private tutorials apart from attending regular in-school classes, says a recent study.
An evaluation study conducted by the Karnataka Evaluation Authority and Hyderabad Karnataka Centre for Advanced Learning, Kalaburagi to study the implementation of 12 (1) (c) under which all private schools are obliged to reserve 25 percent capacity in classes I-VIII for poor children in their neighbourhood, found that even though a majority of RTE quota students said that they had friendly learning environments in school, it might not be adequate or satisfactory to ensure good learning outcomes. The report was submitted recently to the state government for which 5,453 students in 360 schools were interviewed statewide.
Comments Professor Seetharamu A S, principal investigator of the study and a former professor of education at the Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru: “Many RTE students are opting for private tutorials because their parents who come from economically backward sections are not qualified to guide and supplement their children’s education at home. For instance in maths concepts such as fractions, algebra, trigonometry concepts are very difficult. Some RTE quota parents themselves might be educated only up to class V or X and in others where they are better educated, they might not have quality time for children.”
The study found that in some of the schools that were surveyed, private tuitions were conducted in the school premises itself.
However, Section 28 of the RTE Act bans teachers from conducting private tutorials for students and the study report also is extremely critical of the private coaching industry. “Private tuition is a ‘malaise’ in urban regions of the State. Government tried to ban private tuitions in the past. There is also legislation supporting a ban. Still, enforcements have not been successful. Alternatives are not in place. Two hours of extra time at school for the students with all teachers would be of value to reinforce day’s learning. Paid tutors (on contract basis) who are qualified or trained can also be engaged to assist teachers. Expenditures are involved. It is a concern of resources,” says the report.
But the report also notes that despite the need for private tuitions, a large majority of students interviewed were happy with their schools teaching-learning. While 68 percent of students were ‘very happy’, 30 percent students said they were ‘happy’ with what is being taught. During discussions, parents also expressed that they were content with the teaching at schools and that it was for their satisfaction that they enrolled them into additional private tutorials.
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