Bengaluru (DHNS): Thousands of underprivileged students may lose an opportunity to study in reputed schools under RTE for the 2017-18 academic year with the case related to the schools’ minority status stuck in various courts.
Many ICSE and CBSE schools are seeking the “linguistic minority” tag to get exemption from the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) and have approached the high court and Supreme Court.
At least 50 schools imparting central board syllabus have approached the courts claiming to be linguistic minority schools. But with no competent authority to certify their status, students seeking admissions for the academic year 2017-2018 are likely to be affected.
According to B N Yogananda, general secretary, RTE Students’ and Parents’ Association, none of the schools which have approached the court is eligible for the ‘linguistic minority’ tag. “The rule says there must be at least 25% of students having the same mother tongue as that of the school management to apply for the certification.”
He said there is a procedure to apply before the Directorate of Urdu and Other Minority Languages Education which refers the matter to the block education officer, who does a head count of the students to endorse the school for the certification to the Union government.
Johra Jabeen M, Director, Urdu and Other Minority Languages Education, said they are receiving many applications from schools for the tag, but they have stopped referring the matter to the BEO. “Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that the central government has to notify the linguistic minorities in each state, we have stopped referring the matter to the BEO. We are only issuing endorsement to applicants about the apex court's directions,” she said.
In a recent judgement, a single judge of the Karnataka High Court directed the schools claiming to be ‘linguistic minority’ to admit students under the RTE quota till they are certified. The schools appealed to a division bench questioning who is the 'competent authority' to certify the status. A division bench stayed the single judge order. Jabeen said the government was working on filing its objections to the appeal and getting the stay vacated as soon as possible.
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