The Madras High Court on Thursday issued notices on a petition seeking a direction upon the State Government to release the time table and procedure for admission under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, (RTE Act) for the academic year 2020-2021.
The notice was issued by a bench of Justices M M Sundresh and R Hemalatha in a writ petition filed by the Popular Front of India.
The Petitioner-society has submitted that the admission process under the RTE scheme usually commences by the first week of April every year and is wound up before end of May. However, on the pretext of Covid-19, there has been an “undue delay” in initiating the admission process for the academic year 2020-2021 by the State Government, which has put the eligible children and their parents into a dilemma and severe hardship.
It is stated that there is no circular or press release issued by the Tamil Nadu government, clarifying the schedule for admissions under the RTE scheme. “Resultantly, despite their economically weak position, the Parents are constrained to look for enrolling their children in private schools under general quota. As those private schools have already started conducting their classes through online. As such, any further delay would defeat the interest and welfare of under privileged children and the objective of the Act,” the Petitioner submitted.
It is pointed out that many other States, which are similarly affected with the pandemic, have commenced their admission process under RTE Act, despite all their hurdles. Thus it is contended that the Tamil Nadu government’s delay in initiating the admission process under the RTE Act is a “blatant denial” of fundamental rights of the eligible children’s guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution.
The Petitioner has therefore prayed that the government be directed to publish the schedule within a fixed time frame.
The Petitioner is represented by M/s. I. Abdul Basith ML, K. Nizamuddin, A. Mohamed Yusuff, NM Shajahan and A.Nowfil, Advocates.
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