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HC slams schools on RTE

Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday issued notices to some leading private schools in the capital for allegedly flouting provisions under Right to Education Act (2009) that mandated 25 per cent reservation for poor students.

The court was hearing petitioner Ranjan Kumar Singh’s PIL that said several city schools were not following the central enactment which clearly stipulated admitting poor students.

In response, the high court issued notices to city schools, including JVM Shyamali, Delhi Public School, DAV and Bishop groups of schools, Kairali School, Cambrian Public School, St Aloysius School, Oxford Public School and Tender Heart School, asking them to explain their stand.

The matter will again be taken up after a fortnight.

Petitioner Singh, appearing personally before Acting Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice P. P. Bhatt, said the Act provided free education to 25 per cent of students in each class belonging to poor and BPL families.

Despite the legislation, private schools did not admit students from weaker sections of the society and thus violated the provisions of the Act, the petitioner alleged.

Singh informed the court that he had obtained documents from several city schools on the number of BPL and poor students, but the replies furnished by the cradles were unsatisfactory.

He further contended that city schools were flouting provisions of the Act to fill their coffers.

Singh also said the state government needed to earmark funds to reimburse schools as fees for poor students. The state had not fixed fees for underprivileged students and had no provision to allocate funds under that head, he added.

The court directed central and state governments to file affidavits in the matter and explain if any provision to pay fees on behalf of needy children had been made or not.