Pune | RTE: Schools ‘misread’ court order

Pune: Students eligible for the 25% reservation quota under the Right to Education (RTE) Act are having a harrowing time as several schools are either denying admission or asking them to come back after court hearing. Parents have even complained to the education officer that some schools have unofficially told them to take admissions in the general quota by paying the fees.

The ongoing case in the Bombay high court on RTE admissions, which was earlier adjourned till July 7, will now be heard on Monday as the schools reopen on the same day.

On May 7, the Bombay high court had ordered a stay on a government resolution (GR) which said that RTE admissions to pre-primary classes would be voluntary.

Mukund Kirdat, the convener of Aam Aadmi Party, said, “The stay order clearly cites that all children who got admission under RTE to pre-school and Class I before the April 30 notification can be admitted and the stay is only on the new GR. However, many schools are misinforming parents about the court order and are either denying admissions or asking them to come after the court hearing.”

Sonali Kunjir, an RTE activist from Pimpri Chinchwad, said many schools have asked the parents to go for admissions under the general category. “A parent was unofficially told by the school on Friday that they must take admissions by paying fees and not under RTE. The students are suffering because of this,” said Kunjir.

AAP members felt that this was a case of contempt of court. “The education officers should clarify the court order, however, government officers have made matters worse by putting a board outside the municipal shikshan mandal asking parents to contact them only after the court hearing. The parents are feeling helpless and running from pillar to post,” Kirdat said.

Matin Mujawar, a representative of NGO Shikshan Hakka Manch, said, “The responsibility of preventing students from missing out the beginning of the academic year and giving justice to the deprived sections rest on the government.”

Dinkar Temkar, who is in-charge of the RTE admissions in state, said, “Schools can’t deny any admissions yet. The court’s decision will come soon and they will have to follow it. The parents should not lose hope as we will find a proper solution.”

Source: The Times of India

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