The existing regulatory mechanism is not sufficient to ensure quality education in schools owned or controlled by the government or the local authority, the Delhi High Court said Friday.
The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal made the observation in response to a PIL filed by NGO Independent Thought, which has sought court orders to strike down a provision in the Right to Education Act that exempts government-run schools from the requirement of obtaining a licence from the government, and following norms and standards of infrastructure and education.
The PIL, which was filed in 2015, has argued that exemption granted to government-run schools was “discriminatory”.
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The HC is hearing multiple PILs and writ petitions with regard to lack of adequate teachers, books, uniforms and infrastructure in various Delhi government and MCD-run schools in the capital. Recently, two benches of the court had pulled up the government for lack of basic classroom infrastructure and adequate number of teachers in government schools.
Advocate Leena Prasad, who is representing the NGO, told The Indian Express that the government in its counter-affidavit “failed to address issues” raised in the PIL, but has argued against striking down Section 18(1) of the RTE Act, which provides the exemption. The government had, in an earlier affidavit, informed the bench that it was a “misconception” that “government schools are not required to meet the norms and standards prescribed” under the Act.