Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas will be kept out of the contentious no screening for school admission mechanism that the Right to Education (RTE) Act has brought into effect. With the Law Ministry,in its response to the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministrys queries on the issue,saying that Navodaya schools are a class apart and a class sui generis,the stage is set to keep the Navodaya schools out of the ambit of the critical RTE clause.
The HRD Ministry,it is learnt,will be able to do the same without even amending the RTE Act,officials in the ministry have said.
Using the legal opinion that is in its favour,the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti with the HRD Ministrys go ahead will soon be responding on the issue to the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which had served it a notice for violating the RTE Act by holding an all-India level entrance exam to select students for admissions to 500 odd schools.
The Law Ministry has opined that applying the neighbourhood concept or no screening methods to Navodaya schools would exclude talented students from making it to the schools,defeating their purpose and mandate.
It is learnt that the governments 2,500 model schools are also likely to get the same exemption as special category school catering to talented children in educationally backward blocks. The usage of this argument,however,to exempt government-run schools is likely to spark similar demands from private residential schools as well.
The RTE Act that promises free and compulsory education to all children aged between six and 14 years came into effect into April 1 this year. While the Act seems to suggest that there should be no screening mechanism used in determining admissions to schools,several private schools have objected to this criterion.
Private schools apart,the likes of central government run Navodaya Vidyalayas which are mandated to provide modern education to talented children from remote areas have also requested the HRD Ministry to be exempted from the screening clause.