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Schools can continue with their own norms for admission, says Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery admissions. The court said that the ongoing nursery admission process will remain unaffected.

The Court on Feb 13 had asked the Central government to clarify by Wednesday whether the Right to Education Act applied to nursery admissions and if it did, what procedure was to be followed for it.

Earlier, it had reserved the order on the plea challenging two government notifications empowering unaided private schools to formulate their own criteria on nursery admission, asked the Law and Justice ministry to inform it by Wednesday whether the act is applicable on nursery admission also.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra had said that Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (also known as RTE Act) stipulates that a child, between the age group of 6 to 14, would be treated as a child covered under the legislation and hence, the nursery admission would not under its purview.

Speaking to a programme organised by television channel Headlines Today, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor had also said that the right to education (RTE) does not apply to nursery admissions.

sandhya-singh-1_350_013013112410_021913115848“The RTE doesn’t apply to nursery admissions as the law specifies eight years of compulsory schooling from the age of six to 14. Nursery children are younger than that,” said Tharoor.

“As a social mechanism, a school’s admission policy has to take into account the enormous pressure of applications. The ministry can only help in encouraging a certain policy. But when children get into the six-14 age-group, I assure nobody will be left out. Nursery admissions are a little more complicated and the ministry cannot decide,” Tharoor said.

Meanwhile, the HC has given the directive on a petition filed by NGO Social Jurist against the two notifications of the union human resource development ministry and the Delhi government’s directorate of education, empowering unaided private schools to formulate their own nursery admission criteria.

The PIL by the NGO through advocate Ashok Agarwal alleged that these two notifications had given a free hand to all unaided recognized private schools.

The Supreme Court had also talked tough on states to ensure that children’s right to education and against sexual exploitation do not merely remain on paper.

It has directed all states and union territories on Feb 10, to file affidavits stating the measures they have taken to monitor and implement the provisions of various laws enacted for the benefit of children.

INDIA TODAY
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