Monday, April 22, 2013

'UT must take over schools breaching RTE norms'

'UT must take over schools breaching RTE norms'

TNN Apr 20, 2013, 04.39AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Pointing out to the alleged laidback attitude of the Chandigarh administration in tightening the noose around private schools flouting the Right to Education (RTE) norms, members of Citizens Voice group said the managements of schools which are openly evading the high court orders and RTE norms must be taken over by the Union Territory administration. Additionally, the minority status being sought by some prominent schools on the basis of 20 per cent Sikh students in their school will also be challenged by the group members.
"Schools are bound to admit students in the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category in every class and not just in the first or entry level class. The UT administration is acting against public interest to benefit private schools and thereby trying to wrongly suggest that admission under EWS category is limited only to the entry level class," members of Citizens' Voice emphasized this during a public interaction at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan on Friday.

Social activist Hemant Goswami said that soon various citizen groups would be moving a 'contempt of court' petition in the high court against officers of the Chandigarh Administration as well as the schools for violating the high court order, which clearly mentioned that 15 per cent students from economically disadvantaged sections of society have to be admitted in each and every class being run by the school, which comes to 15 per cent of the total strength of students in a school.
Advocate and social worker Nitin Goyal pointed out that private schools have been trying to escape from admitting EWS students on flimsy grounds just to save their 'elitist tag'. Goyal said, "Most states have started taking tough action against private schools violating the RTE Act, but the UT administration has still been trying to persuade the violator schools, which sounds comical since the schools have blatantly refused to fulfil their obligations.
Goswami claimed that a legal notice has been issued to the administration officers, including the administrator and the education secretary, alleging contempt of court and corruption within the administration. Sunny Mehta of National Students' Union of India (NSUI) said students of Panjab University have formed a group to fight against private schools not following RTE provisions.

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