Right to Education SC verdict widely acclaimed by academicians

   Apr 12, 7:14 pm

New Delhi/Patna, Apr 12 (ANI): Education experts from across India hailed the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, which mandates 25 percent free seats to the poor in government and private unaided schools uniformly across the country.

Reacting to the apex court's directives, Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, Kamal Farooqui, said it is a path breaking judgment and that it would give hopes to children from the weaker sections of the society.

"That is a very historical judgment because the Constitutional Amendment Article 26A, which has ultimately led to this RTE Act has given lot of hopes to the weaker section of the society, including the Muslims," said Farooqui.

"So, we are happy about this and we are also happy that the honourable Supreme Court has exempted unaided minority education institutions from the rigours of the RTE, which means that the Article 29, 30, 31 basically, which gives the minority the right to establish and administer the educational institution of their own that has been upheld and that has not been eroded," he added.

Farooqui also noted that as for whatever concessions extended to the poor deserving students, the schools can recover the cost from the parents of the rest 75 percent students.

"Any educational institution, which needs to be established under the recognition from one government board or the other, has to run in a charitable domain. So, one the charitable domain is there so it is the responsibility of the state to look after the weaker section of the society," said Farooqui.

"So, I don't think in a way the autonomy is affected. In fact whatever concession they are giving to the weaker sections, they can upload it to the higher income bracket and recover the cost of these 25 percent students from the rest of the 75 percent of the parents," he added.

Commenting on the new provisions in the RTE, retired principal of a private school in New Delhi, Shyama Chona, said the children deserve the best of education, as the future of the country lies with them.

"It's a step forward for our nation to become a greater civil society, by including the children who do not have access and opportunity of quality education into the best of best of schools," said Chona.

"I know there may be some problems with private schools regarding the economics of the matter, space, etc, but I think when there is a will, there is a way and I am so happy that the Right to Education Act has been upheld," he added.

Meanwhile, well-known educationalist and mathematician, Anand Kumar from Patna, Bihar, said the authorities should upgrade government schools by providing more facilities to the students in those schools imparting quality education.

It is a very good decision, wherein 25 percent poor children would get an opportunity to study in any school, however, the number of poor and rural children in our country is so high that just by giving 25 percent reservation in good schools, the issue related to education will remain incomplete," said Kumar.

"One more point needs to be considered that the government schools should be upgraded so that more and more children get an opportunity to study there," he added.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar today said the act will apply uniformly to government and unaided private schools except unaided private minority schools.

Justice Radhakrishnan, however, in his dissenting opinion took the view that the act would not apply to both unaided private schools as also minority institutions, which do not receive any aid or grant from the government.

Justices Kapadia and Swantanter Kumar, who took the stand that the act would be applicable even to unaided private schools, overruled Justice Radhakrishnan's view. (ANI)

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