Assam RTE

Guwahati, May 26: The Gauhati High Court has expressed deep concern over the repeated violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the city of Guwahati in Assam, where economically disadvantaged students are being coerced into joining private schools by charging exorbitant fees.

The court’s Bench, comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Sandeep Mehta and Justice Mitali Thakuria, questioned the State Education Department on the actions taken against schools that have levied fees on students seeking admission under the RTE Act.

During a recent hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to the implementation of the RTE Act, the court called upon the counsel for the State Education Department to provide details about the steps being taken to address this issue.

In accordance with the court’s previous order, the Secretary of the Department of Secondary School Education was present and directed to ensure the effective implementation of the Act.

The Gauhati High Court Bench expressed strong disapproval of South Point School for charging fees from students admitted under the RTE Act. It emphasized that regardless of the ongoing PIL, schools have an obligation to admit eligible underprivileged students as per the provisions of the Act.

Also Read: Anini: Unlocking the Marvels of Amazing Arunachal with CM Pema Khandu

The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 29, urging the relevant authorities to take appropriate action in case of any violations of its earlier orders and to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Act.

In the previous hearing, the court reprimanded the Assam education department when it was revealed that no concrete guidelines or a dedicated portal were in place, resulting in incomplete admissions.

The petitioner organization was represented by Advocates Anita Verma, who is also a party in-person, and Sudakshina Khanikar. Advocate R Mazumdar appeared on behalf of the respondents, as reported.

The Gauhati High Court’s concern over the violation of the RTE Act highlights the pressing issue of economically backward students being denied their right to quality education. The court’s strong stance against schools charging fees from RTE-admitted students serves as a reminder to all educational institutions to fulfill their obligations under the Act.

As the court’s hearing on May 29 approaches, it is hoped that appropriate measures
will be taken to rectify the situation and ensure that every child has access to
education without financial barriers.