Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s statement on giving private schools the freedom to decide their teachers’ salary structure once the Right to Education (RTE) Act is implemented is not applicable to all unaided institutions in the Capital.
This prerogative will be limited to schools with insufficient funds to conform to the government salary structure, Sibal said on Saturday. The Delhi State Education Act (DSEA), 1973, makes it mandatory for all recognised schools in the Capital to pay salaries as per the Sixth Pay Commission.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act to be implemented across all states from April 1 — is silent on this issue and thus the provision of the Delhi education act should ideally prevail.
But Sibal feels an exception will have to be made for the unrecognised unaided schools once RTE comes into effect.
“An unrecognised school with inadequate funds will be forced to close down if it’s asked to pay teachers according to government standards,” he said. “Such institutions have a lot of poor kids and have to be protected.”
“The RTE does not aim to further marginalise the poor. Closing such schools is not an option. In fact, we will give them three years to conform to the infrastructure and teaching standards in the Act,” he added.
Sibal will meet CM Sheila Dikshit on Monday and then the other state heads to discuss this. “There are hurdles in implementing the RTE as each state has its own legislation on education. Between now and April 1, we will meet all state governments to build a consensus,” he said.