RTE only for 6-14 age group: Govt

Act

Nursery admission No bar on screening procedure by schools for students below age 6: Govt to HC

The Central government informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that the Right to Education Act applies only to "elementary education" which is defined in the Act as education from Class I to Class VIII. Provisions of the RTE, the government said, are available only to children in the age group 6 to 14 years and do not affect primary education.

"There is no bar on a screening procedure by a school for students under six years of age," the government counsel said in response to a specific question put by the bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain.

The government filed an affidavit after it was asked by the High Court whether admission to the nursery class was regulated by the RTE Act.

The High Court has been hearing arguments on a PIL challenging two notifications by the Central government and the Delhi government allowing schools to formulate their own criteria for admission to the nursery class. The admission process has been stalled due to the pendency of the petition. The High Court had remarked that the admission process for 2013-14 could be affected by its final decision on the petition.

The government affidavit stated that "there are certain provisions of the Act, which relate to children below six years and beyond 14 years. These specific provisions, however, are those related to drop-out children and children from economically weaker sections."

The government affidavit also mentions Section 11 of the RTE that speaks about pre-primary education for children above three years of age. The HRD Ministry affidavit says that state governments "may have their own policies governing admissions in pre-primary class".

Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra also told the court that the Delhi School Education Act and notifications issued under the Act were there to regulate pre-primary education in Delhi.

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