Hold seminar on implementation of RTE Act, High Court tells govt
‘Frame rules on basis of suggestions that emerge at workshop’
The High Court on Thursday directed the State Government to conduct a seminar on implementing the Right to Education (RTE) Act as a fundamental right. Basing on the significant suggestions that emerge during the deliberations, the government shall frame the rules, the court observed.
Hearing a petition by Sarvodaya Education Society and parents challenging the hike in fees and exclusion of CBSE and ICSE schools from the RTE Act implementation, Justice Hulvadi G Ramesh directed the State Government to conduct a seminar by including government officials, parents and school authorities.
Stating that it is the obligation on part of both the Union and State governments to implement Article 21(A) of the Constitution which provides free and compulsory education for children aged between six and 14, the court observed that parents are afraid of sending their children to “ordinary schools” as they believe that their wards will not be able to compete in government jobs and the field of science and technology and allied disciplines, unless they get quality education.
On the petitioners questioning the exclusion of CBSE and ICSE schools from the RTE ambit, the court observed, “The authorities of the State Government including Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Department of Education should be at the seminar. Regulatory authorities in regard to courses run under NCERT, CBSE and ICSE should be invited to the seminar.”
‘Fix a date’
The court directed government authorities to fix a date for the seminar and ensure participation of representatives of parents, private institutions, teachers of aided, unaided, linguistic and religious minorities institutes.
The seminar shall deliberate on measures needed for proper implementation of the Article 21(A), fixing the fee structure and expenditure to be borne by the Government.
“The suggestions that emerge will later be developed as rules for implementation of the RTE system, so that it could be made workable from the point of parents and institutions,” the court observed.
The court directed P S Dinesh Kumar, central government counsel, to have a discussion and come out with a suggestion by February 4, and suggest the date for the workshop to be organised by the Government.
The Secretary, Department of Education and Commissioner, Department of Education, regional officers of CBSE and ICSE have been directed to appear before the court on February 4 to express their views.