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28-February-2024-Special-Article

February 28 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

WHY MAHARASHTRA IS EXEMPTING PRIVATE SCHOOLS FROM RTE QUOTA ADMISSIONS

The Maharashtra school education department has recently brought forth changes in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022, specifically regarding the 25% admission quota for disadvantaged groups in private unaided schools.

This move has stirred discussions on educational equity and the state’s authority to amend central laws.

Key Amendments to Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules:

Background:

  • The RTE Act mandates 25% of Class 1 students in unaided schools to be from the “weaker section and disadvantaged group.”
  • Maharashtra exempts private unaided schools from this quota if government or aided schools are within a 1 km radius.

New Rule Highlights:

  • Local authorities can’t earmark private unaided schools for 25% admissions if government or aided schools are nearby.
  • Students in these areas get admission priority in government or aided schools.
  • Private schools reimbursed for RTE admissions in the absence of aided schools.

Reasons Behind State Introductions:

Karnataka’s Stand (2018):

  • Aimed at ensuring education for all.
  • Attempted to prevent a decline in government school enrollments.

Concerns and Justifications:

  • Private schools cite non-reimbursement issues as a reason for the state’s action.
  • Maharashtra emphasizes the empowerment of states under Section 38 of the RTE Act.

Implications and Arguments:

Against the Amendment:

  • Questions raised on the state’s authority to amend central law.
  • Criticism for undermining the RTE Act’s Section 12(1)(C) combating education inequality.

In Favor of the Amendment:

  • Maharashtra government cites empowerment under Section 38 of the RTE Act.
  • Emphasizes that changes apply to rules drafted in 2011 and 2013, not the original law.
  • Private unaided schools welcome the move, anticipating increased government school enrollments.

Exemption for Minority Schools:

  • Article 30 of the Constitution exempts minority schools from RTE quotas.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that the RTE Act does not apply to minority schools.

Significant Provisions of the RTE Act:

Right to Free and Compulsory Education:

  • Children aged 6-14 entitled to free education.
  • Aided schools must offer free education not less than 25%.

Curriculum and Recognition:

  • Curriculum developed by a designated authority.
  • Schools must adhere to prescribed standards and pupil-teacher ratios.

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Teachers forbidden from private tuition.
  • Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) ensures qualifications.

Schools and Teachers’ Responsibilities:

  • School Management Committees (SMCs) oversee school funds.
  • Grievance redressal through the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.

Conclusion:

While Maharashtra’s amendment might ease financial concerns for private schools, concerns linger about equality in education access.

Striking a balance between supporting private institutions and ensuring inclusive education is crucial. The move prompts a broader conversation on addressing educational disparities for children from marginalized backgrounds.

Mains Question:

  1. Critically assess the recent amendments made by the Maharashtra school education department to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022. Discuss the implications of these changes on educational equity and the state’s jurisdiction to modify central laws. (150 WORDS)

Details

Date:
February 28
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: