Govt allays fears of minority institutions on RTE Act

Last Updated: Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 21:42

New Delhi: Amid apprehension by several
Muslim organisations that provisions of the Right to Education
Act impinge on minority rights, Government today made it clear
that constitutional guarantees available to minority
institutions will not be violated.

"The Ministry will send out an advisory to all states
and union territories to ensure that constitutional guarantees
under Article 29 and 30 available to minority institutes are
not violated," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said.
But "we will also urge all minority institutions to
ensure that the spirit of the RTE Act to provide good quality
education is not violated," he told reporters.

Sibal said the Ministry has already introduced an
amendment Bill in the Parliament to clarify the role of school
management committees for aided minority institutions.

"The committee will only play an advisory role in the
minority institutes," he said after holding consultations with
various stakeholders on implementations of the provisions of
the Act.

He said the government has no intention of interfering
in the madrassas` right and process of imparting religious
education.

He said that there was a broad consensus on several
other issues which included that children should not be tested
in anyway at the time of admission.
However, a suggestion was made that a rational system
of "categorisation on non-discriminatory principles" as well
as affirmative action for children from marginalised sections
should be evolved within which a school may form a random
selection process, he said.

Sibal said there were also deliberations on the issue
of producing residential certificates with respect to street
children.

"There was some suggestion that parent declaration
would suffice. However, we have not taken a decision on this
as yet. But we would like to evolve a rational system for
this. Institutions could have some autonomy on this," he said.

Referring to residential schools, he said they would
hold separate deliberations on such schools.

Talking about the need to seek recognition by schools
afresh under the RTE Act, he said this was to ensure the
schools are following the yardsticks laid under the Act.

"We felt that recognised schools could give some kind
of affidavit. We will develop a procedure under which the
schools would have to follow a system which is aligned to the
RTE Act," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 21:42

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