Bringing judgment to a petition filed by a union of teachers against the non-implementation of the 'Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act' (RTE), the Bombay High Court on 12 December directed Maharashtra government to give report on what steps has been taken to ensure free education for children of classes 1 – VIII in the state.
The division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak has ruled out the secretary of state Education Department to file an affidavit by 20 January giving details of what steps have been taken by the state government for the implementation of RTE in Maharashtra.
A petition was filed by Brihanmumbai Mahapalika Shikshak Sabha, a union of teachers who work in municipal schools. They were seeking strict official direction to the government and Bombay Municipal Corporation to implement RTE in all aided and unaided schools in the state.
Students of BMC schools as well as other schools are subjected to free and compulsory education up to class VIII as per the section 3 of RTE Act, states the petition.
As per the education norm, the BMC issues School Leaving Certificate to students of Class 4 and 7, but usually these children do not come back once they get the LC, and thus remain deprived of further free education till class VIII, said the Petitioner's lawyer Rajiv Patil.
Currently, the BMC runs 1,174 schools, and the RTE should be applicable to more than 2.27 lakh students studying in class 4 and 7 in BMC schools, the petition asserted.
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