Ahmedabad | Admit poor under RTE or face action, pvt schools told

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday took a serious note of private schools denying admission to poor children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The HC issued notices to nearly 200 private schools in Ahmedabad district asking why FIR should not be lodged against them for violating the law.

Acting chief justice V M Sahai did some tough talking in response to a PIL filed by Dalit Hakk Rakshak Sangh complaining of apathy on part of government and private schools in filling the 25% quota reserved for poor kids. “The private schools do not like to admit poor kids. They feel that their reputation would be spoiled….But they will have to give admission,” Sahai observed.

The petitioners submitted that 1,509 students had applied to DEO, Ahmedabad, for free admission, who forwarded their names to several private schools. But as many as 905 students — about 60% — were not granted free admission by the schools.

When petitioner organization told HC that indifference on part of authorities and private school managements resulted in denial of admission to poor children, HC ordered all these private schools to be made party in litigation.

Court asked schools to state on affidavit whether they gave free admission to students as per the mandate of the law.

HC said if schools have not given free admission to children under RTE laws irrespective of the list supplied to them by DEO, they have violated the norms. Schools should be given show-cause notice as to why FIR cannot be lodged against principals of such schools for violation of rights of the children to education under Article 21A of the Constitution, said the court order.

HC asked officials concerned to strictly implement the law and ensure admission under the quota. The court asked the Ahmedabad DEO, director of primary education and the central government to tender their answers in this regard. Further hearing is kept for March 27.

Source: Times of India

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