25% seats for EBCs may not materialise now
- Five-judge bench formed by SC on the issue - Even the govt not prepared: Pvt Schools Assn BH Ramakrishna Lack of commitment on the part of...
- Five-judge bench formed by SC on the issue - Even the govt not prepared: Pvt Schools Assn BH Ramakrishna Lack of commitment on the part of the governments, private institutions constantly knocking the doors of courts and social issues coming in the way of implementation have thwacked an estimable proposal i.e. earmarking 25 percent of the seats to the students belonging to the economically and socially weaker sections. It appears that the grand plan may not take off even from next academic year i.e. 2013-14, going by the protracted legal tangles. Meanwhile, Supreme Court has referred all the challenging petitions on this issue to a five-judge constitutional bench. The petitioners from several states have challenged Article 15(5) of the constitution, which places an obligation on unaided private schools to reserve 25 percent seats for students from socially and economically weaker sections of society. Hearing the plea, the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Mishra directed court registry to place the matter before the Chief Justice for listing before an appropriate bench. The directive was made after a submission by senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, assisted by Ankit Goyal, representing the Karnataka-based Pramati Educational and Cultural Trust and others, that a larger bench hear the matter in view of the court's earlier order of September 2010. How can they implement? General Secretay of AP Private Schools Association Srinivasa Reddy has questioned government's sincerity to implement the RTE Act. "Last year, the government has formed a committee of senior officials to recommend steps for implementation. The committee said to have made some recommendations but after that there was no follow up" he said. "According to RTE Act, government needs to pay up the per capita expenditure of all the 25% students of the weaker sections to the private schools. The expenditure, according to the present standards is Rs18,000 per annum in Hyderabad and Rs 10,000-12,000 in rural areas. But if the government pays such a meager amount, no corporate or private school will accept and they will go to court" he said. "We are the stake holders and government should discuss with us on implementation. But the officials go on issuing GOs, how can it be implemented?" he asked. "Government reimburses the fee for the engineering, medical and other professional course students who are have attained the age of voting. It left behind school children who cannot question, fight or vote" he remarked. Sources in primary education have also conceded that government may not be in a position to implement the RTE norm even next year. Some of the proposals in the Act are practically impossible to implement, he said. "Supreme Court might have said just 25% seats. But it will not stop with that. Going by the social blocks, it will go up to even 50-60% and there will come a day when the government schools may have to be shut down totally if all the backward sections prefer corporate or private schools" another official explained.