15 May, 2021

Primary Politics

The Sena-BJP government clashes with Church-backed schools

Primary Politics

THE issue has gone far beyond the mere teaching of tiny tots. The current tussle between the Shiv Sena-BJP government and Church-backed Catholic schools revolves around the issue of admissions. The state's stand: only half the little children admitted in pre-primary classes can be chosen by school managements, the rest must fall in line with the Maharashtra Pre-School Centres (Regulation of Admissions) Act, 1996.

The Act, which will affect admissions from this academic season, says that 50 per cent of the children must be chosen from the neighbourhood without considerations of caste or community. Selections are to be on the basis of a lottery system, not interviews.

 Formulated by the Mah-arashtra Balshikshan Parishad, the Act was aimed at cleaning up pre-primary education which is swamped with donation demands and mushrooming schools. However, instead of knocking out irregularities and overnight operators, the Act—which makes registration of pre-schools obligatory—has succeeded in nettling minority institutions who...

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