The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the stand of the Centre and the Delhi government on a PIL seeking changes to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, to ensure that students from poor families who clear Class VIII from private schools can complete their education up to senior secondary level. The PIL alleged that these students are asked to leave if they cannot pay the fee for Class IX.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the HRD Ministry, and directed the Centre and the state to place their stand before the next date of hearing on September 26.
Civil rights group Social Jurist, which moved the court through advocate Ashok Agarwal, sought directions on extending Section 12 (1)(C) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act beyond Class VIII and up to Class XII.“The very objective of RTE, of allowing disadvantage group/EWS students to study in unaided schools, would be defeated if they are not allowed to continue studies up to Class XII and complete their schooling,” Agarwal submitted.
The petitioner said that it will help avoid interruption in studies and harassment of students.
“After Class VIII, students from EWS and other disadvantaged groups are asked by schools to leave because they cannot afford the fee from Class IX onwards,” the plea said, adding that the only option for such students is to join government schools.
“Since government schools are Hindi-medium, it will not only be highly prejudicial to students’ interest but also defeat the very object of providing free education in an unaided private school,” the plea claimed.