Stating that the extension of the Right to Education (RTE) beyond the elementary level is a major policy decision, which can only be decided upon after the formation of the new government, the Central government requested the Delhi government to “consider approaching” the city’s private schools to continue providing free education beyond Class VIII to EWS/DG students admitted under the RTE until such a decision is made.
It added that if this is not possible, the Delhi government “has informed that it is committed” to admit such children to its own government schools— stating that this will not entail a change in the curriculum or the medium.
Delhi government schools and most of the private schools in the capital follow the CBSE curriculum. Government schools also have an English medium section.
This was contained in a submission made in the Delhi High Court Tuesday by the Centre’s representative, in response to a petition seeking the continuation of free education provided to students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Disadvantaged Groups (DG) in private schools under Section 12(1)c of the Right to Education Act, 2009, till Class XII.
Under the current provisions of the Act, schools are obliged to provide free education up till the completion of elementary education — till the end of Class VIII.
On the movement towards extension of the provision concerning EWS/DG students, the submission stated, “The extension of RTE Act beyond elementary level is a major policy issue which could only be decided once the new government is formed after the general elections.”
“However, the proposal in this regard has been submitted for in-principle decision of the Central Government,” it added. It went on to state that the involvement of and consultation with all state and Union Territory governments will be necessary in case a constitutional amendment is brought into effect, and because the Central and state governments share concurrent responsibility for providing funds for implementing the Act.
However, until such time that a decision is made, the submission stated that the “Delhi government has been requested to consider approaching those private, unaided schools where children under Section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act have been admitted and who have passed out of class VIII, to be continued in such schools beyond the elementary level.”