Q 1. What is Right to Education Act?

Every Child of the age six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till the completion of elementary education.Act

Q 2. Is the Act Applicable to my State?

Yes, it applies to all the states in the union of India (except Jammu and Kashmir). The Act was passed by the central government in 2009 and came into effect from 1st April 2011. The “Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011” came into effect in November 2011. TN Act

Q 3. What other areas does the RTE cover other than providing free education?

The RTE in addition to ensuring free and compulsory education also gives directives for stakeholders in education including schools, teachers, local authorities for proper infrastructure/other facilities of school, implementation of child friendly curriculum and protection of children.

Q 4. What are the different types of schools defined in RTE according to grants received from government?

Section 12 of RTE is defined to 4 different categories of schools according to the type of grants received from government -

  1. A school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or a local authority; shall provide free and compulsory education to all children admitted therein; (Government school – free and compulsory education to all children)
  2. An aided school receiving aid or grants to meet whole or parts of its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority; shall provide free and compulsory education to a minimum of twenty-five percent;  (Private aided school)
  3. A school belonging to a specified category; and (Special Category Schools)
  4. An unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority; shall admit in class 1 to the extent of at least twenty-five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education till its completion. (Private unaided school)

Q 5. What does the RTE specify about reservation of seats in PRIVATE UNAIDED SCHOOLS and SPECIAL CATEGORY SCHOOLS?

All private, unaided schools and those in the specified category (such as the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodyayas, Sainik Schools) have to reserve minimum of 25% seats for the entry class for the children from disadvantaged section or Economically weaker section from the neighbourhood.

Q 6. What does the RTE specify about reservation of seats in PRIVATE AIDED SCHOOLS?

Private aided schools shall have to admit children from similar backgrounds in the proportion of aid they receive from the government, in the induction class each year, and will not receive any extra reimbursement for these children. For example, if the total annual contribution from the government to an aided school is 70% of its total recurring expenditure for a particular year, it will have to admit 70% children in the induction class that year (and not for each class of the elementary stage)

Q 7. Which children are eligible to apply for the 25% reserved seats?

The 25% reserved seats are applicable to the children from disadvantaged section or economically weaker section under Section 12 (C) of the Act.

Child belong to disadvantaged group -

  1. Children belonging Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Castes, Most Backward Castes
  2. Orphan*
  3. Children Affected with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus*
  4. Transgender children*
  5. Child of scavenger*
  6. Differently abled*

Child belonging to weaker section – child belonging to such parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than Rs. 2 lakh*

* G.O. 174, School Education Department, TamilNadu

Q 8. Which schools can an eligible child apply to for admission?

The Act states that all children are eligible for admission in neighbourhood schools.
The area or limits of neighbourhood within which a school has to be established by the State Government is -

  1. For children in classes I to V, a school shall be established within a walking distance of one km of the neighbourhood.
  2. For children in classes VI to VIII, a school shall be established within a walking distance of 3 km of the neighbourhood
  3. the neighborhood limit can be extended with the prior approval of the State Government if the requisite number of seats has not been filled by the school

# As per TN RTE Rules PART III, 4

Q 9. Which schools are exempt from all the provisions of the RTE Act?

The exempted schools are as follows:

  1. Schools in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. Madrassas, Vedic Patshalas and educational institutions primarily imparting religious instruction – Religious Schools
  3. Unaided minority schools are excluded from the Act, according to the 2012 Supreme Court Judgment
  4. Boarding Schools or residential schools, which admit students only after Class 1.

In boarding or residential schools, which have Class 1, the 25% reservation applies to day scholars only.

# Based on the Supreme Court directive, the Central Government guideline on 13th July 2012

Q 10. What is the admission procedure for these free seats to eligible children? 

“….schools shall follow a system of  RANDOM SELECTION out of the applications received from children belonging to disadvantaged groups and weaker sections for filling the pre-determined number of seats in that class, which should be not less than 25% of the strength of the class.”

# As per The Ministry of Human Resource Development instructions in its Guidelines on Procedure for School Admission Under RTE Act, 2009 issued on 23.11.2010

Q 11. Can the private school conduct tests, interviews, educational profiling of parents and other screening procedures for selection of children in the 25% reserved seats?

No. The Act explicitly states that for all children, including those in the 25% reserved category:

“No school or person shall, while admitting a child…subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.”

“…..There shall be NO TESTING AND INTERVIEWS for any child / parent falling within or outside the categories, and selection would be on a random basis”

The Act further states that:

Any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions subjects a child to screening procedure, shall be PUNISHABLE WITH FINE, which may extend to TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND RUPEES for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions.”

Q 12. Can private schools charge capitation fees or “donations” at the time of admission?

No. The Act specifies that for all children in all types of schools:

  1. No school or person shall, while admitting  a child, collect any capitation fee
  2. Any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions…. receive capitation fee, shall be punishable with FINE which may extend to TEN TIMES the capitation fee charged

Individual states and union territories have also issued rules which specify the grievance redressal mechanism to lodge complaints.

Q 13. Can schools provide separate education for children in the 25% reserved free seats?

No. The Ministry has categorically clarified in its Model Rules that

“the school …… shall ensure that children admitted ….shall NOT BE SEGREGATED from the other children in the classrooms nor shall their classes be held at places and timings different from the classes held for the other children. NOT BE DISCRIMINATED from the rest of the children in any manner pertaining to entitlements and facilities such as text books, uniforms, library and ICT facilities, extra-curricular and sports.”

Individual states and union territories have also emphasized this point in their rules which specify the norms for inclusive education.

Q 14. Is it true that no child can be expelled or failed?

Yes. No school, governmental or private, can detain (fail) or expel any child at the elementary stage.
The Delhi High Court has already given a verdict on this on the basis of the Act (April 7, 2010), against St. Xavier’s School, Delhi, which had to take back all the children they had declared failed and expelled from the school.

Q 15. What is the Timeline of the implementation of the 25% quota?

  • Every School has to prepare the details of entry level class and seat by April 2 and display the same at the School Notice Board.
  • All the Eligible Schools shall issue and call for submission of application from May 3 to May 18 (this was earlier May 3rd to 9th, but extended by a court order)

Q 16. What are the documents necessary for application under the 25% quota for Private Schools?

  1. Proof of Age: (a) Birth Certificate | (b) Hospital/Auxiliary and Midwife register | (c) Anganwadi record | (d) Declaration through an affidavit of the age of the child by the Parent / Guardian.
  2. Proof of Residential Address: (a) Family card | (b) Voter ID card | (c) Adhar ID card | (d) Driving license | (e) Bank passbook | (f) Telephone bill | (g) PAN card | (h) Certificate of Residence issued by VAO | (i) ID card issued by State Govt. / Central Govt. /Public Sector Undertakings
  3. Certificate of belong to Disadvantaged section or Economically Weaker Section (as applicable)

Q 17. What are the relevant authorities for issuing certificates for children in EWS and DG?

Disadvantaged Group

Certificates Competent Authority
Scheduled Caste (S.C.) Tahsildar, Revenue Department/ Competent authority in the case of children from other States
Scheduled Tribe (S.T.) RDO/Sub Collector, Revenue Department/ Competent authority in the case of children from other States
Backward caste/ Most Backward Caste (BC, MBC) Deputy Tahsildar, Revenue Department
Orphan District Social Welfare Officer, Department of Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme
Affected with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) Medical Officer authorised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare
Transgender Medical Officer authorised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare
Child of scavenger Competent Authority authorised by the Commissioners’ of the respective Corporations, Municipalities, Executive Officers’ of the respective Town Panchayats and Presidents of the respective Village Panchayats/ District Collector or the authority authorised by the District Collector
Differently abled District Differently abled Rehabilitation Officer

Economically Weaker Section

Certificate Competent Authority
Parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than Rs. 2,00,000/- Tahsildar, Revenue Department

 

References

  1. “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009” Gazette No: 35 published by Government of India on 26th August 2009
  2. “Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 notified on 18th November 2011
  3. 25PERCENT.IN, http://www.25percent.in/faqs
  4. RightToEducation.in, http://righttoeducation.in/faq?field_stakeholder_tid=All&field_category_faq_tid=294&title=&page=2

Compiled by volunteers of Becoming I foundation for Project ‘Knock Knock’

KeerthiHow did you come to know about Bhumi? and what made you become a part?

Facebook, of course. I was looking for a good chance to volunteer, when I came across Bhumi’s facebook page and immediately signed up for the next orientation.

Why Little Einsteins (LE) Maths?

I believe that a strong mathematics background is a must-have for any person, at all points of life. But sadly, many students these days are made to rote problems just for the sake of passing their exams. And Math exams have been a fear factor for over generations now. The main objective of LE Maths, which is to eliminate the fear and to target primary kids and train them maths conceptually, motivated me to join the project.

What would you call a major plus of volunteering with Bhumi?

Major plus for volunteering with Bhumi would be the training, of course. Most of the volunteers are college students or IT professionals and they are not professionally trained to teach kids or understand child psychology. And Bhumi does a very good job in bridging this gap. This makes sure that the 4-5 hours a week that volunteers spend is utilized productively.They also provide a good platform to try out new ideas and methods to reach out better to the kids.

Any specific, special moment with kids you would like to share with us?

There are too many, actually. I usually handle 2nd and 3rd grade kids. One day, during class, I wasn’t feeling well and was struggling to teach place values to a 2nd grade kid. One 3rd grader had been noticing this for sometime. She came up to me and said, “Akka, you go and take rest. I will take it up from here.” I was amused and hesitant, because I had taken places values to her just a couple of weeks back. But she seemed confident and I very badly wanted to see how the session goes. She confidently took the kits that I was using and started teaching so casually, questioning at appropriate moments and checking for the other kid’s reaction as she went on. She was teaching the same way that I used, only a little better. I was so happy that day to see how your effort gets reflected. It was like receiving a personal first hand feedback.

If you could name one Bhumian as your role model, who would that be? and Why?

I would say, Sriram. As a new comer to Bhumi, he was the one who introduced us to the world of LE Maths. And I also had the chance to volunteer with him at the same centre. He is a very good mentor who sets the path for new comers to follow. There are many admirable qualities in him, such as punctuality, dedication and perfection.

A note about your personal front 

I completed my B.E.,Computer science and am currently working at Tata Consultancy Services. I am to take up a fellowship at Teach for India, starting this May. I am an avid reader and love to sing and paint.

A special message to your fellow volunteers

In Bhumi, we get to learn much more than what we teach. Be it from the kids or fellow volunteers or the experience, we get to learn a lot. It is a very good platform to groom our own self. So have the same level of enthusiasm as your day 1 and give your best. You deserve this experience as much as our kids deserve it!

DivyaWhy Bhumi? 

Bhumi is a place where things really happen. To contribute to the society and motivate poor young kids, all you have to do is become a volunteer at Bhumi – a very simple task indeed, but the impact that it creates is huge! Even before you realize you are actually volunteering, you will be given responsibilities that will be changing someone’s life in every way possible.

You had a recent switch to Little Einsteins Science now. Why is that?

Science is the only reason for why and how our lives are getting easier day by day. Understanding the concepts are not easy, but once you get to know about it, there is no limit to what you can do. That’s why I chose LE Science where kids can be taught the basic scientific concepts that will surely change their lives one day!

Tell us about your first day as a volunteer and the initial challenges you faced. Also, how did you overcome them?

I still remember my first day as a volunteer. I was a Math Volunteer at SISTWA, Saidapet, which was very close to my home and I had no idea of what I should be doing exactly. I didn’t know how my fellow volunteers would be and most of all, how the kids would react on seeing this girl (me). But to my surprise, as soon as I went there the kids came running towards me, asking me my name and started playing with me instantly as if they knew me for weeks. The kids were so enthusiastic. Apart from that, my fellow volunteers were so friendly and I felt loved. SISTWA, being my very first center will always remain very close to my heart.

Challenges: At first, there were not many games or kits. We just had plain Mathematics classes, and we made it a point to keep it as interactive as possible. We handled 6th, 7th and 8th grades where the girls owing to their age, lost interest in studying and showed more enthusiasm towards movies and songs. When we started getting close, I started explaining the importance of studies and how it helps us in getting good grades and scores. I could see a slow change in their approach to education. And then, needless to say! When LE Maths changed its course to 1st to 5th grades with the new kits and games, it took the whole project to the next level.

Other challenges that I am still facing: Managing the kids and getting them involved for classes, motivating them, developing their self confidence and building up their talents. Still working on it and I am sure to find a solution soon!

Life before and after Bhumi

Life before Bhumi: Not worthy

Life after Bhumi: Added a meaning to my life. From being a lazy, inactive and a normal person, to someone who is socially responsible, committed to work, building relationships and helping others out.’

Any specific, special moment with kids you would like to share with us?

Yes. When I met a small girl who was so determined and passionate! She talked to me about her family and how she used to wait so much for the weekends just to see her mom. A girl who is not drawn by price tagged materials, but by knowledge, love and affection! Being so innocent, she always asks me to help her out in becoming a good person with a good job so that she could help her mom, who works very hard. This was something that made me realize I have almost everything in my life and I just have to use them in a right way.

What do you apart from Bhumi?

I’m from Chennai, currently in my final year Biomedical Engineering at SSN. I love to have friends and hang out with them all the time. A candy crush lover, little of Kathak dancer, more of a Kuthu dancer! And really working hard to find out the other inborn talents in me :P

A message to your fellow volunteers.

Just love what you do. Keep in mind that you are actually someone who can change the life of the kids you are handling! Take it serious, commit yourselves, take responsibilities and most of all, take time to do these little things with all your heart and don’t do it just for the sake of doing!

Last Tuesday evening I was in a room full of celebrities, volunteer heroes and organisations that engaged volunteers across the country. It was the grand finale of the iVolunteer awards in Mumbai and Bhumi was one of the finalists in the Leader in Volunteer Engagement category. As the nine finalists for the award were being announced my heart rate started rising … as the envelope was called for and the chief guest of the evening, Mr.Abhishek Bachchan was  opening the envelope, my heart was nearly thudding in excitement. When he announced ‘and the winner is … Bhumi!’ I was flooded with so much emotion, words failed me in my acceptance speech on behalf of the organisation …

DSC_0098

It seems a long time ago, but it was just eight years back when my co-founders and I were taking baby steps to volunteering as a group that later became Bhumi. Our passion to do something for the country led us to education. Our first volunteering effort to teach in a children’s home was an epic failure!

A small break was created due to exams and vacation. When we approached the Secretary of the children’s home to restart the classes, we were asked to submit a report about how the children benefitted from our classes. This was an eye opener; we didn’t have an answer, and hence we were unable to resume our classes there. We learnt our most valuable lesson then; that we cannot waste the time of these children by doing ‘something’ just because we were volunteering. Read the full account here…

It brought our dreams of changing the nation crashing down, but from there we had only one direction to go, up! It’s the sheer passion, determination of each of the hundreds of volunteers we have touched through Bhumi, people like you that has brought the organisation here. In 2013 we involved over 3,000 volunteers across the country. In 2014, we need to reach out to 10,000 young people and by 2020 we hope to engage 1,00,000 volunteers for India! Call me a dreamer but some day I see volunteerism becoming a national habit, whether Bhumi will be the platform or a catalyst only time will tell but I know for sure when we Change Today … we Change Tomorrow!

 

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14. March 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Join Us · Tags:

Location: Chennai, Bengaluru

The coordinator should be capable of straddling multiple responsibilities and willing to travel extensively within the city. The coordinator will handle and interact with people including beneficiaries, centre authorities and vendors. He/she will collaborate and work alongside our existing employees, coordinators and volunteers.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Visit & identify shelter homes and community centres to assess suitability and need for Bhumi programmes
  • Visit & short-list beneficiaries for Bhumi’s scholarship programmes
  • Identify and engage vendors on behalf of Bhumi
  • Assist HR team with recruitment

Preferred Education Qualification / Experience:

  • Work experience – not necessary
  • Any graduation – desirable
  • Prior experience of working in an NGO setup desirable. Candidates with prior volunteering experience with Bhumi preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Reasonable interpersonal and communication skills – English &Tamil (Chennai) or Kannada (Bengaluru)
  • Reasonableproject management skills
  • Resourceful, responsible and self-starting
  • Ability to manage data efficiently
  • Willing to travel extensively –locally

Other Information:

  • Reporting to: Executive Director
  • Expected Age: Below 35
  • Scope: Full time, willing to work flexible hours six days a week including weekends
  • Remuneration: Rs.15,000-Rs.25,000 p.m. based on the candidate’s profile
  • Expected Joining Date: Immediate

We are looking for a youngster who is committed to increasing his/her skills, gaining vital management experience, and is committed to the Bhumi team for at least two years. If you qualify and are interested to take up the role, send in your resume to careers.oc@bhumi.org.in

Location: Kolkata, Hyderabad, Coimbatore

Bhumi require interns, who have interest in the education of under-privileged children, specifically in English (class 1-5), Mathematics (class 1-5) or basic Science (class 6 to 8). The interns should help create a vibrant and joyful learning environment for children of community centres and children’s homes.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Help in creating print rich environment in our centres
  • Help in improving facilitator guides for Volunteers
  • Conduct training sessions on lesson delivery, classroom management, different pedagogic styles, lesson planning etc for Bhumi Volunteers
  • Help set up the city chapter
  • Work in teams and with Bhumi volunteers to pilot innovation activities (from prior classroom experience) in centres
  • Strategise and fundraise for the library project
  • Draft modules for various classroom processes; example: classroom management, how to integrate art and music in class.

What will you get?

  1. Joy of giving
  2. An experience of working with professionals in the field of education
  3. An opportunity to work on your training and facilitation skills
  4. An opportunity to ‘start-up’ a new Bhumi Chapter in your city

Preferred Experience:

  • Existing/past volunteers of Bhumi
  • Existing/past volunteers of similar organisations, looking for personal growth or a career in the education/non-profit sector
  • Individuals who part of / completed fellowships like Teach For India, Gandhi Fellowship, YIF etc.

Other Information:

  • Internship period: Any time between March –July, 2014
  • Timings: Flexible; 5-8 hours per day weekdays and/or weekends
  • Location: From home/online/at Bhumi locations in your chosen city
  • Stipend: Nil
  • Accommodation: N/A

 If you are interested in taking up this internship, send in your resume with a cover letter to intern@bhumi.org.in

About Bhumi:

Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. We believe that the status quo can be changed by creating youth leaders, improving the education of the next generation Our volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of the country with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education and enable them to become responsible and productive citizens of the future. The efforts of our volunteer force consisting of over 1,000 students and young professionals under the age of 30 will benefit over 12,000 children every year. Details on http://bhumi.org.in/

Location: Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Trichy

Bhumi require interns, who have interest in the education of under-privileged children, specifically in English (class 1-5), Mathematics (class 1-5) or basic Science (class 6 to 8). The interns should help create a vibrant and joyful learning environment for children of community centres and children’s homes.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Help in creating print rich environment in our centres
  • Help in improving facilitator guides for Volunteers
  • Conduct training sessions on lesson delivery, classroom management, different pedagogic styles, lesson planning etc for Bhumi Volunteers
  • Work in teams and with Bhumi volunteers to pilot innovation activities (from prior classroom experience) in centres
  • Strategise and fundraise for the library project
  • Draft modules for various classroom processes; example: classroom management, how to integrate art and music in class.

What will you get?

  1. Joy of giving
  2. An experience of working with professionals in the field of education
  3. An opportunity to work on your training and facilitation skills

Preferred Experience:

  • Existing/past volunteers of Bhumi
  • Existing/past volunteers of similar organisations, looking for personal growth or a career in the education/non-profit sector
  • Individuals who part of / completed fellowships like Teach For India, Gandhi Fellowship, YIF etc.

Other Information:

  • Internship period: Any time between March –July, 2014
  • Timings: Flexible; 5-8 hours per day weekdays and/or weekends
  • Location: From home/online/at Bhumi locations in your chosen city
  • Stipend: Nil
  • Accommodation: N/A

If you are interested in taking up this internship, send in your resume with a cover letter to intern@bhumi.org.in

About Bhumi:

Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. We believe that the status quo can be changed by creating youth leaders, improving the education of the next generation Our volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of the country with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education and enable them to become responsible and productive citizens of the future. The efforts of our volunteer force consisting of over 1,000 students and young professionals under the age of 30 will benefit over 12,000 children every year. Details on http://bhumi.org.in/

Bhumi require interns, who have interest in the education of under-privileged children, specifically in English (class 1-5), Mathematics (class 1-5) or basic Science (class 6 to 8). The interns should help create a vibrant and joyful learning environment for children of community centres and children’s homes.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Ideate and prepare learning kits to aid education in Maths/ English/Science
  • Design additional activities to support the existing Bhumi curriculum
  • Help in creating print rich environment in our centres
  • Help in improving facilitator guides for Volunteers
  • Conduct training sessions on lesson delivery, classroom management, different pedagogic styles, lesson planning etc for Bhumi Volunteers
  • Work in teams and with Bhumi volunteers to pilot activities in centres

What will you get?

  1. Joy of giving
  2. An experience of working with professionals in the field of education
  3. An opportunity to work on your training and facilitation skills
  4. A welcome with a hot beverage and a farewell with hot chocolate pan cake

Preferred Experience:

  • Existing/past volunteers of Bhumi
  • Existing/past volunteers of similar organisations, looking for personal growth or a career in the education/non-profit sector
  • Individuals who part of / completed fellowships like Teach For India, Gandhi Fellowship, YIF etc.

Other Information:

  • Internship period: Any time between March –July, 2014
  • Timings: Flexible; 5-8 hours per day weekdays and/or weekends
  • Location: Bhumi’s Chennai Office
  • Stipend: Nil
  • Accommodation: N/A

 If you are interested in taking up this internship, send in your resume with a cover letter to intern@bhumi.org.in

About Bhumi:

Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. We believe that the status quo can be changed by creating youth leaders, improving the education of the next generation Our volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of the country with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education and enable them to become responsible and productive citizens of the future. The efforts of our volunteer force consisting of over 1,000 students and young professionals under the age of 30 will benefit over 12,000 children every year. Details on http://bhumi.org.in/