Private unaided schools that claimed exemption from admitting underprivileged children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, on plea of being minority institutions will be required to admit such children after a decision to this effect by the Madhya Pradesh School Education Department.
The School Education Department has decided that only those religious educational institutions including Christian missionary schools and other minority schools, which mainly impart religious instruction, will be allowed to claim exemption from the relevant provisions of RTE Act. All other such schools will be required to admit underprivileged students under the Act.
In a letter dated March 18, issued to all the Collectors and Education Officers, the Department has directed that the officials concerned should take action to enforce the orders in their respective districts.
The Department took this decision after consulting the Legal Department of the State Government.
Bhopal Divisional Joint-Director (School Education Department) PR Tiwari said that the department will start the process for admission in the CBSE affiliated private schools in April. "Board and local exams are currently underway in the schools, so we would not take action immediately as that would hamper the exams. However, next month the department will enforce the orders firmly," said Tiwari on Thursday.
He informed that in Bhopal, the decision will open doors of admission for underprivileged children in nearly 35 CBSE affiliated schools.
Earlier, most of the major English-medium missionary schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had denied giving admissions to the children from poor families claiming minority status. The schools had claimed exemption on basis of a Supreme Court judgment on April 12, 2012.
In its judgment, the Court has laid that the provision of 25 per cent quota for children from underprivileged families as provided by the RTE Act would not be applicable to the unaided minority educational institutions as it violates the Fundamental Rights of such institutions.
‘Violation of SC order’; cries churh
Archdiocese of Bhopal's Public Relation Officer (PRO) Fr Johnny PJ, who is also principal of St Joseph's Co-ed School, has termed the move of the School Education Department as contempt of the Supreme Court orders. "The decision by School Education Department is a clear violation of Court's order and hence amounts to contempt of court," he told 'The Pioneer' on Thursday. When asked if the Christian missionary schools are planning any action against the order, he informed that any decision regarding this will be taken on Friday in a meeting of the school principals and management of such schools.Fr Johnny also accused the School Education Department of discriminating against the Christian community. "The order clearly mentions that Christian missionary schools will not be allowed exemption from the RTE act. This is like targeting the community," he alleged. PNS