RTE SMSes in English unintelligible for parents

Prajakta Joshi
Thursday, 11 April 2019

Marathi texts can’t be sent due to technical issues

PUNE: Though the State uses Marathi as the language of  administration, the State Education Department seems to have some inhibitions about using it for administrative purposes. The latest example is sending of SMSes under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in English. 

This disappointed parents who are eagerly waiting for the SMS on whether their child has received admission under RTE or not. 

As the message was in English, majority of them did not understand it while a few did not even realise they had received the message.

“Since morning, many parents have been calling me up frantically, and going to our volunteers. Not only did they not understand the content of the messages, but they did not even understand if they have received the message. This is like ridiculing their English illiteracy,” Pradnya Waghmare of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI) said.

She added, “Shouldn’t the messages be sent in Marathi, as most of the parents are Marathi speaking? RTE admissions are for people from backward socio-economic classes. The government should understand that the parents might not understand English, and should have sent out the messages in Marathi for everybody’s convenience.”

CEO of NGO Sneh Foundation Shraddha Deo stated that this issue has always been there, and the parents are almost helpless when they come asking the volunteers to check if their kid has got admission or not.

However, reacting to the same, Joint Secretary of Education (Primary) Dinkar Temkar said English texts are necessary considering the constraints of technology. “Many phones, especially the old ones, do not support the Devnagari fonts in which Marathi was written. In such phones, the Marathi text will only appear as gibberish, which anyway will be unreadable. The messages in English are supported by all phones, and the parents can easily get them read by someone else,” he said.

In the first online lottery, a total of 67,706 children out of 2,44,930 applications have been allotted schools. In Pune district, out of the 53,677 applications, 12,566 have been selected in the first round. These children can take admissions till April 26.

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