SC panel pulls up Punjab over RTE’s poor implementation | punjab | Hindustan Times
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SC panel pulls up Punjab over RTE’s poor implementation

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the state government to learn from Chandigarh and Haryana in this regard.

punjab Updated: Feb 19, 2018 12:11 IST
Mohit Singla
Mohit Singla
Hindustan Times, Nabha
SC panel,RTE,poor implementation
The commission has specifically raised concern over the act’s implementation in regard to reserved categories and those below poverty line.(Representative image )

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has asked the Punjab government to ensure proper implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, in the state.

In a letter to the Punjab principal secretary, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, the apex panel said the act was being implemented in its letter and spirit everywhere in the country except in Punjab.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes also asked the state government to learn from Chandigarh and Haryana in this regard. The letter was issued on February 16, a day after the Punjab cabinet had formed a subcommittee to oversee the RTE implementation and examine suggestions for revamping the department.

Citing the beginning of a new academic session, the commission has asked Punjab to act swiftly to make the right accessible to all children.

The commission has specifically raised concern over the act’s implementation in regard to reserved categories and those below poverty line, who should get free and compulsory education in neighbourhood private unaided schools under the 25% reserved quota. The fees is to be reimbursed to schools by the state.

Asking the state to write the provisions in front of every private unaided school, the commission said not even a single child was admitted to such schools under this act in the state and no funds have been reimbursed to any private unaided schools in this regard.

Points to Nabha school issue

Directing the government to refer to a news article published in Hindustan Times on November 22, 2017, regarding the high court’s directions to a Nabha school to give immediate admission to two children belonging to schedules castes, the commission said the neighbourhood school clause is not being implemented in the state.

The panel also objected to the fact that the district education officer issued recognition certificate to the school despite its failure to fulfil various RTE norms.

Commission director Raj Kumar Chhanena said the state government has been told about provisions in its notification that are contradictory to the central legislation and has been directed to rectify them immediately.

Citing the beginning of a new academic session, the commission has asked Punjab to act swiftly to make the right accessible to all children.

Punjab cabinet forms sub-panel

Leader of opposition and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira too raised the issue in a press conference earlier this week. He alleged economically weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged groups are being denied the right to get 25% seats in private schools by using a provision for no-objection certificate from the nearby government school.

In a Punjab cabinet meeting later, it was decided to set up a cabinet subcommittee to oversee the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education. The cabinet took a serious note of private schools continuing to deprive poor students of admissions despite reservations.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 12:06 IST