Upset with the tardy implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) quota in Maharashtra, parents filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court on Wednesday.
The petition has demanded that the government reimburse institutes that admit student to the pre-primary section and take action against errant schools. They have also demanded that the state enforce the 25% quota in aided schools too. The court will hear the petition on Friday.
Last week, the HC had ordered a status quo on the April 30 government resolution (GR) issued by the state school education department to exempt pre-primary from following the RTE quota.
Criticising the April 30 GR that has been stayed by the HC for now, the petition by the parents accused the state of agonising young children. “The state has shown a remarkable lack of understanding of basic child psychology in depriving those children who have already bagged seats in the pre-primary section and creating uncertainty and confusion for children” read the petition filed by Savari Muthu Micheal Selvan, 53, a parent.
The petition said the state “deliberately undermined the admission process” by not taking action against errant schools.
Further, the petition demanded that the government reimburse schools admitting children to pre-primary. More than 30,000 children across state will be ‘out of school’ if the government cancels the pre-primary admissions, it added.
Other parents said the PIL was much needed, as the schools are not taking the process seriously. Even after the HC order, the schools are not readmitting students whose admissions have been cancelled, said parents.
“After the PIL was filed, I again went to the school and asked for admission. They have now asked me to come on June 10,” said Nalini Dethe, mother of a kindergarten student. “I am happy that someone rose against the government as well as the education officers.”
Meanwhile, Nand Kumar, principal secretary of the department, said they will ask schools to continue admitting students in Class 1 and pre-primary till the next hearing of the case.