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Contempt plea in Delhi HC against non-extension of RTE upto Class XII

A contempt petition has been moved in Delhi High Court against Education Secretary, Union of India alleging that Government has failed to decide on extending education">Right to Education (RTE Act 2009) up to Class XII by an amendment to protect Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)/ Disadvantaged Group (DG) students despite High Court directions.

Social Jurist, a Civil Rights Group through Advocate Ashok Aggarwal and Advocate Utkarsh Singh on Monday has knocked the doors of Delhi High Court seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against a senior official of Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Education under the Government of India.

The plea alleged that the respondent official deliberately and intentionally disobeyed the order of this Court passed earlier.

The petitioner submitted that a Division Bench of Delhi High Court by order dated December 9, 2019, stated: "We expect from Union of India that the policy decision of extension of free education under the of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 to children of disadvantaged group/ economically weaker section even after attaining the age of 14 years or beyond Class VIII up to Class XII in the same school, would be taken at the earliest".

The plea alleged that a period of more than a year has since elapsed and the respondent has not taken any decision in this matter till date.

The Petitioner submits that the parents of DG/EWS category students are not in a financial position to pay hefty school fee to unaided private schools in classes IX and onwards.

It is also submitted that if a student has studied from nursery to Class VIII in an English medium unaided private school and is asked to go to the government school in Class IX and onwards, great prejudice would be caused to such student for more than one reasons.

The plea that is likely to be heard on March 3 stated, "It is a known fact that education atmosphere apart from the medium of instructions are different in government schools and private schools.

After being accustomed to study in a private school, it becomes almost difficult for students of a private school to adjust to a government school. Students would also be deprived of the company of peer group, teachers and facilities."

"Petition submits that it would be prejudicial to the carrier of DG/EWS category students by not letting them complete their education in a private school up to Class XII.

In short, 'Best Interest of the Child Principle' would not only be jeopardised but also would be compromised," the plea said.

The petitioner submitted that due to inaction on the part of Respondent to not to extend RTE Act 2009 upto Class XII, thousands of students who passed Class VIII in the academic year 2019-20 have been thrown out by private schools because parents were unable to pay school fees in class IX and onwards.

Similarly, over one lakh student who would pass class VIII in the academic year 2020-21 will be thrown out of school on account of financial inability on the part of parents to pay school fee in Class IX and onwards. (ANI)

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