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Private schools should adhere to RTE Act, says High Court

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday directed the government to ensure that no student in the age group of 6-14 years is prohibited from attending classes even by private school managements for want of payment of fees or other reasons.

Passing interim orders in a writ petition filed by a daily wage labourer from Kanyakumari district, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar also ordered the government to initiate action against private school managements if they failed to adhere to provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

The judge took serious note of the petitioner's allegation that a matriculation school at Kulasekaram had coerced him to obtain transfer certificate for his three children studying in sixth, fourth and first standards for not being able to pay Rs.24,000 demanded by the management on September 19. Mr. Justice Vasanthakumar pointed out that Section 8 (c) of the RTE Act mandates the government to ensure that children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups are not discriminated and prevented from pursuing and completing their elementary education on any ground.

“It is the duty of the appropriate government to ensure and monitor admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child between the age group of six and fourteen years and also ensure good quality elementary education conforming to the norms specified in the Act,” he said.

Mr. Justice Vasanthakumar ordered notices to all the officials concerned as well as the school authorities returnable by four weeks.

In the meantime he directed the management to permit the petitioner's three children to attend classes as well as appear for the half-yearly examinations this month.

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