Schools heave sigh of relief, CM favours RTE extension

Delhi schools heaved a sigh of relief and welcomed the decision of the Delhi High Court, which made it clear that there was no stopping the nursery admission process currently underway.

In first comments, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: "We are going through the order. The government is considering options." She said personally she would like the ambit of the Right to Education Act expanded to include children under the age of six.

Ameeta M Wattal, principal of Springdales School and vice-chairperson of National Progressive Schools Conference, said: "We support the court order, the autonomy of schools has to be maintained." She said had there been any delay in the order, it would have been a big issue for parents.

With the High Court ruling that the RTE Act does not apply to nursery except the provision to reserve 25 per cent seats for the economically weaker sections, Madhulika Sen, chairperson of the Forum of Public Schools, said "that is what we have been saying all this while that the RTE does not apply to nursery and KG."

Sen also raised the point of autonomy of private unaided schools and said "the other 75 per cent should be left to us". She said the forum held a meeting on Tuesday.

The petitioners, on the other hand, called the order "a partial victory". Ashok Agarwal, counsel for petitioner Social Jurist NGO, said they will move the Supreme Court in the next two weeks regarding extension of the RTE.

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