Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Kolkata schools, govt clash over RTE

Top Kolkata schools, govt clash over RTE

TNN Jul 7, 2012, 03.49AM IST

KOLKATA: At least 13 top Kolkata schools are on a collision course with the state government over the implementing of the Right to Education Act. All these schools - 10 under the Church of North India (CNI) and three others - are private unaided minority institutions. The principals of these schools pointed out to state education minister Bratya Basu on Friday that while upholding the validity of the RTE Act on April 12 this year, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Act would apply to all categories of public and private schools except unaided minority institutions.

Many of these schools claimed that they have with them copies of the Supreme Court judgment. The state government, however, said that no such apex court order was known to it.

"The Centre has not instructed us to exempt private minority unaided schools from the RTE. We will send a letter to the HRD ministry and seek clarifications. Till then, all these schools will have to follow the RTE Act ," education minister Bratya Basu said.
According to one of the principals who attended the meeting, Basu told them that he had spoken to Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who had clarified that the Act covers all schools. The principal said they might move court for clarification if the government insisted on bringing them under the RTE Act.
Basu told the principals at the meeting that as per the RTE Act, all schools will have to keep aside 25% of seats for poor children. "As specified in the Act, the state government will bear the cost of buying their uniforms, providing school books and all other expenses that will be incurred by the school," he said.
He also asked the schools to impose a complete ban on corporal punishments.

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