Human Resources Development minister Kapil Sibal has said there would not be any need for private schools to raise their fees to reserve 25% seats for children from weaker sections of society.
“Tell me, suppose there are 1,200 students in a school and on an average 100 students in a class. It would mean that the RTE provisions would be applicable to just 25 students. Will the private school collapse because of this? They have so much reserve funds. Why can’t they use it for this social cause?”
Maintaining that the entire logistics for its implementation was available in the Act, Sibal said it was for the state government to provide the funds.
“Under this 25% reservation, they will have to give the same amount they spend for a child in a government school. There are all kinds of subsidies. Why can we therefore not have this kind of subsidy in schools? When subsidised education is possible in state universities and central universities, why can’t it happen in the schools?’
“There are so many private schools, especially in remote villages, where the fee is less than that in government schools. Don’t you think these schools will benefit from this Act.”
Observing that it was essential to bring equity in classrooms he said the rich children should come out of their ‘richness’.
“When they sit along with poor children, they will realise that there is a world beyond iPad and TV. More importantly, there should not be two Indias. This provision under RTE will help us move in this direction.”
“I am happy that there is complete clarity now. And I am grateful to the Supreme Court for this. We must realise that education should be child-centric and not institution-centric and this is what this provision under RTE aims to accomplish.”