Free education: Centre told to reply on contempt petition

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to respond to a contempt petition against the authorities for not taking decision on extension of free education under the Right To Education (RTE) Act to children of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) beyond Class 8 and up to Class 12 in school.

Justice Najmi Waziri questioned the Ministry of Education as to why decision has not been taken to extend the RTE Act, despite court’s directions passed in 2019.

The court’s direction came on a plea filed by NGO Social Jurist. It posted the case for further hearing on March 17. Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, appearing for the NGO, said due to inaction on the part of the Centre, private schools across India are throwing several EWS students out every year after they pass Class 8.

The High Court had in December 2019, asked the Centre to take a decision on the extension of free education to EWS children even after attaining the age of 14 years or beyond. The plea sought initiation of contempt proceedings against authorities for their alleged deliberate and intentional disobedience of the of December 9, 2019 judgment.

It alleged that a period of more than a year has since elapsed and authorities have not taken any decision in this matter till date and that the parents of the EWS category students are not in financial position to pay hefty school fee to unaided private schools in Class IX and onwards.

The counsel appearing for the NGO also argued that if a student has studied from nursery to Class VIII in an english medium unaided private school and is asked to go to a government school in Class IX and onwards, great prejudice would be caused to such student for more than one reasons.

It added that over one lakh students, who would pass Class VIII in the academic year 2020-21, will be thrown out of schools on account of financial inability on the part of parents to pay school fee in Class IX and onwards.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 9:25:49 PM |

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