Maharashtra | HC to decide on RTE rules for private schools in Maharashtra

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday reserved its orders on petitions filed by private schools challenging a January 2015 Maharashtra government resolution that specified two levels of entry for admissions under the Right To Education quota. A division bench of justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Vijay Achliya heard arguments by schools, NGOs as well the state government.

The January rules were reintroduced last month by the state government after it withdrew a controversial April 30, 2015, rule that allowed private schools to cancel pre-primary admissions under the RTE quota. The January rules specified two levels of entry — one at the pre primary level and the other at class One, in cases where the number of seats differed at these classes requiring fresh admissions in a school. For example a school which had 100 seats in pre-primary classes had to reserve 25 per cent for students for economically weak and disadvantaged sections of the society under RTE. At Class one if the school had 200 seats, then it had to set apart an additional 25 seats to meet the RTE quota. Advocate Chetan Mali, counsel for Pune-based NGO Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, said that the two levels of entry were necessary to ensure that the 25 per cent RTE quota was implemented at every class.

The state said that schools that had the same number of seats at both pre primary and Class one will not have two entry levels. The schools however said that the two entry levels were not provided in the RTE law. The other dispute was to about whether the schools would have to keep vacant seats that had not been filled in the RTE quota. The state refused to reimburse the fees towards vacant seats.

Source: The Times of India

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