25% reservation for poor students must from this academic year
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RTE Failure by schools to do so will be considered contempt of court
After weeks of debate, it has finally been made mandatory for schools in the state to adhere to the Supreme Court (SC) ruling to reserve 25 per cent seats for students of financially weak families from this academic year. Though school authorities claimed that they were not sure if they needed to implement the directive from this year as most of them have completed their admission procedures, the director of education (primary), sent letters to all schools on Monday to implement it, putting all doubts to rest.
Shreedhar Salunke, director of education (primary), additional charge, said, "We have sent a letter to all schools today. Many schools have not yet implemented the SC ruling saying that the guidelines are not clear. However, if schools do not implement them, it will be considered as contempt of court."
The state government will allot Rs 12,000 per child every year. "However, the extra cost will need to be borne by the schools," added Salunke.
SC had issued these directives more than a month ago. Reservation for students from economically weaker backgrounds had been mandated under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. According to the SC ruling, schools that have a kindergarten need to implement the resrvation from that class itself. However, the law was challenged by several schools, which claimed that it would not only affect their results, but also threaten their autonomous status.
Voicing apprehension about the implementation of the directives, Mrunmayee Bhave, principal of Gurukul School, said, "Implementing the clause will be difficult for us. Even if we keep aside the financial part, there are other issues as well, the most important being the lack of clarity regarding guidelines."
Nalini Sengupta, principal, Vidya Valley School said, "We are more than willing to implement the 25 per cent reservation clause. However, the guidelines are still hazy and we do not know how to implement it. It won't be impossible to implement the clause as we do have some scope for extra students. However, it is a little difficult for us to answer queries regarding it. The government needs to issue clear guidelines soon so that we can act accordingly."
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