Delhi Govt violates RTE Act, subjects children to admission test

By TCN News,

New Delhi: In a clear violation of the Right to Education Act, 2009, the Delhi Government is subjecting children to screening procedure for admission to Class VI in Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas (government schools) in the academic year 2010-2011. The state government has issued admission notice mentioning the screening procedure. Civil rights group Social Jurist has written a letter to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit urging her to withdraw the notice.

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The admission notice issued by the Directorate of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi appeared in all the leading newspapers dated 28.03.2010 regarding admission of students to class VI in all Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas run by DOE. The said admission notice invites students for admission in class VI in these schools through Entrance Test which will consist of objective type questions to test numerical ability, mental ability, general knowledge and language comprehension and the selection will be done on the merit of candidate.

“It is submitted that the above procedure for admission through entrance test for admission of students in class VI in these schools is prohibited by Section 13 of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009). It is further submitted that under Clause (b) of Sub-Section (2) of Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009 such screening procedure is an offence punishable with fine which may extend to twenty five thousand rupees for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contravention,” Adv Ashok Agarwal, Advisor, Social Jurist, wrote in his letter to CM.

It is also interesting that the cost of the application form has been levied at Rs. 25/- which is also hit by the provisions of RTE Act, 2009.

The relevant provisions of Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009 which prohibit such screening test and fees are as follows.

“Section 13 (1) No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.

(2) Any school or person, if in contravention of the provision of sub-section (1),-

(a) receives capitation fee, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged;

(b) subjects a child to screening procedure, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions.”

Section 2(o) “screening procedure” means the method of selection for admission of a child, in preference over another, other than a random method;

“From the mere reading of the aforementioned provisions of the RTE Act, 2009, it is abundantly clear that no school can subject a student to any screening procedure (which includes admission test) for his/her admission in classes I to VIII, Adv Agarwal said.

“It is, therefore, requested that the aforementioned admission notice be withdrawn and another admission notice in conformity with the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009 should be published. It is also requested that your decision on the subject be intimated to the undersigned within three days of the receipt of this representation, failing which, we shall be constrained to file a Public Interest Litigation in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court questioning the validity of your aforesaid admission notice at your risk and costs. Please note,” he wrote in the letter.