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Delhi HC Directs Central Government to Extend RTE Till Class 12

EWS category children who have crossed Class 8 are now either being evicted or asked to pay the full fees.

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 9 April, asked the Centre to consider extending the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) till Class 12, The Hindu reported. At the moment, the act provides free compulsory education to economically weaker section category (EWS) or students up to Class 8.

The court was taking cognisance of the risk faced by EWS students who had crossed the Class 8 threshold. These children are now either being evicted by private unaided schools or being asked to pay the full fees, reported ThePrint.

Activist and lawyer Ashok Aggarwal had filed a PIL in this matter, acting for NGO Social Jurist. “It is submitted that after Class VIII, a DG/EWS student is left with the option only to go to government school for further education,” the petition said, reported The Hindu.

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The petition further said that thousands of such students who have passed out Class VII or who would be passing Class VIII in the coming academic year would be denied from free education up to Class 12.

Taking note of this, the court has directed the Centre to extend the RTE provision till Class 12 and file an affidavit in the court within two weeks.

Sources told ThePrint that the government had already been looking for a solution before the court order.

Schools Sending Letters

EWS students have already started receiving letters over this issue, asking for fees.

“Your son/daughter was admitted in this school in Weaker Section… category group. He/she completed elementary education (Class 1 to 8). In compliance with Article 12 (1) (c) of the RTE act, your child is eligible for free and compulsory education till Class 8,” Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Mehta Vidyalaya at Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Delhi, wrote to an EWS student’s parents this January, as reported by ThePrint.

“You are therefore required to pay full school fee equivalent to open seat admitted students from the next academic session,” the letter, accessed by ThePrint, added.

(With inputs from ThePrint and The Hindu.)

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