The state is still dithering over the implementation of one of the RTE Act’s clauses, which calls for the reservation of 25% of the seats in private schools for students from the economically weaker sections of society. The provision may not get implemented for the next academic year (2012-13).
In a written reply to the legislative council, education minister Rajendra Darda has said that the state government was in the process of defining the term ‘economically weaker sections’ and would need to amend the act to implement the rule.
The state cabinet had cleared the implementation of the Right to Education Act in September 2011. The act calls for private schools across all boards to reserve 25% seats to students from economically weaker sections, including students from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) and other reserved categories.
Sena legislator Deepak Sawant raised the question in the council, asking if the RTE provision would be implemented.
“It has been learnt that the provisions will not be implemented in the academic year 2012-13 and that there are some problems that the government is facing. What are the issues and will the government be providing funds for this,” Sawant asked.
Darda replied that the government had already cleared the RTE Act 2009 that calls for free and compulsory education for all students. “But, for the implementation of this rule, both the state and the Central government will need to make amendments,” he said.
After the state government had cleared the act in September 2009, private schools had raised objections questioning the implementation of this rule.
The state education department had then said that a separate resolution would be issued in this matter along with a separate budgetary provision. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had said that the government would be paying the student’s fees, which will be fixed by the state.