New norms- SC backs Right to Educati

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					New norms for schools as SC backs Right to Education

Dhananjay Mahapatra & Himanshi Dhawan, TNN Apr 13, 2012, 12.02AM IST




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(The SC directed schools,…)

NEW DELHI: With the Supreme
Court throwing its full weight behind
the Right of Children to Free and
Compulsory Education Act, 2009,
(better known as the Right to
Education Act or RTE Act), the
composition of students in schools
as well as the economics of running


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schools will undergo dramatic
changes.




The apex court upheld the constitutional validity of the Act and
directed all schools, including privately-run schools, irrespective of
the board they are affiliated to, to admit from this academic year
(2012-13) at least 25% students from socially and economically
backward families. These students will be guaranteed free
education from class I till they reach the age of 14.

This means the nature of the classroom will change. Until now,
several schools were holding a separate shift for students from
poor families after the main school was over. Under the RTE Act,
they will have to induct these students in the main class - in other
words, 25% of every class will have students from socially and
economically disadvantaged families.

While many educationists feel the resultant social integration will
make education more meaningful, the reaction of some expensive
schools as well as of some parents hasn't been positive. Also, the
need to give free education to 25% students is expected to
increase the expenditure of schools, which is likely to lead to
another round of fee hikes.

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The schools will get a subsidy from the government for giving free
education (65% of the subsidy will come from the Centre and 35%
from states), but the subsidy is not expected to meet the full cost.
The government subsidy will be based on the expenditure per
student in government schools or Kendriya Vidyalayas, while
many private schools spend (or at least, charge as fee) much
more.

According to estimates, the government spends Rs 3,000 per
child per year for primary education. The Centre has given states
the freedom to implement its own grants and aids, but many
states are financially broke and the grants vary from state to state.
For instance, Delhi gives about Rs 1,200 per child per month,
while Haryana doesn't give any aid to schools. Some
educationists said that now private schools would have to hike
fees as 75% of the class would have to pay for the 25% students
admitted under the RTE Act.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, HRD minister Kapil Sibal
said, "I am very happy that the court has set all controversies at
rest. One of the biggest controversies was on whether the 25%
reservation applies to private schools or not... that controversy
has been set to rest."



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The court has, however, sought a clarification from the
government on applicability of RTE Act to boarding schools and
orphanages as the legislation applied only to day scholars. "To
put the matter beyond doubt, we recommend that appropriate
guidelines be issued under Section 35 of the 2009 Act clarifying
the above position," the bench headed by Chief Justice S H
Kapadia said.

According to 2007-08 statistics quoted by the Supreme Court, out
of the 12,50,755 schools imparting elementary education in India,
80.2% were government run, 5.8% private aided and 13.1%
private unaided. Of these, 87.2% of the schools were located in
rural areas.




According to RTE activist Kiran Bhatty, former national
coordinator for the monitoring of the RTE, several violations had
cropped up recently, including non-compliance of the 25% quota
for economically weaker sections. Other violations included
running two shifts instead of integrating students in the class and
conducting admission tests.

While National University of Planning and Administration's vice
chancellor R Govinda did not rule out initial "turmoil", he said

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some "restructuring" on the part of government and private
schools was necessary. He added that there was an increasing
"ghettoisation of schools" that will now be discouraged. "The full
impact will be seen in 7-8 years when the composition of the
student community will change," he said.

Madarsas and institutions of vedic learning will continue to be
outside the ambit of the Act as the HRD ministry has declared
them as institutions of religious instruction rather than educational
institutions as described under the RTE.

WILL FEES RISE?

What is RTE?

Free school education up to age of 14 for students from socially &
economically backward families

Does RTE apply to all schools?

Yes, even private, convent schools, irrespective of the board.
Only madrasas & Vedic schools exempt

What age group does RTE apply to?

To children from age 6 to 14, or from Class 1 to 8

Will there be a fee hike?
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Most probably as govt subsidy won't meet full cost of providing
free education to 25% students

Will students from poor families be in same classroom?

Yes. RTE says these students must be integrated in the main
classroom

Can teachers hold private tuitions?

RTE says that no teacher can take private tuitions

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Description: Elementary Education in India facilitated.