RTE Act does not apply to nursery, rules HC


ORDER Schools can continue with admission process; HC says govt must consider extending RTE to nursery.

Ending the uncertainty over the ongoing nursery admission process in private unaided schools of the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday ruled that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery schools. But the court also said "it is the right time for the government to consider" applying the Act to nursery classes as well.

Disposing PILs filed by NGO Social Jurist and Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain did not quash the two notifications, which the petitioners claimed had allowed private unaided schools to formulate their own admission criteria.

"We hold that the guidelines issued by the Government of India and the order issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi under Section 35 of RTE Act, 2009, do not apply to 75 per cent of the admission made to pre-elementary (pre-primary and pre-school) classes by private unaided schools, though they do apply to to the remaining 25 per cent admission made by such schools to such classes," the bench said, referring to the 25 per cent reservation for children belonging to the weaker section and disadvantaged group.

"Though we have held that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery schools... there cannot be any different yardstick... for education of children up to the age of 14 years, irrespective of the fact that it applies to only elementary education. It is the right time for the government to consider the applicability of Right to Education Act to the nursery classes as well, as in many of the states admissions are made right from the nursery classes and the children so admitted are automatically allowed to continue from Class I," the bench said.

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