Tuesday, February 24, 2015

No school before 3 years: HC gives 3 months for rules

Gujarat high court on Monday gave three months to the state government to frame proper rules or to amend the rules prohibiting admission of a kid below three years of age in pre-primary schools and to take action against the schools that violate the Right to Education laws.

In November last year, the state promised the HC that it would amend the law and add a provision to act against the erring schools to strictly implement the central act that prohibits entry of child below three in any kind of school. The state government gave assurance in response to a PIL filed in 2012 by one Kamal Pandya.

Further hearing is kept on August 13 and the state government has been asked to make a statement by then about its action. This happened after petitioner's counsel highlighted that the government did not amend rules, but only issued a circular.

The petitioner argued that Rule 8 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2012 prohibits such admission. The court had also noticed that there is no mechanism in these rules to take action against a school or organization, if it violates the norms and give admission to children less than three years of age. There is no provision of withdrawal of recognition of schools because such pre-primary schools do not require government licence to operate.

In this PIL, the petitioner claimed that the prohibition is provided in a guideline issued in 1996 by the government. It also says that at the time of admission in pre-primary school (playgroup or nursery), the child should not be less than three years on or before August 31 of the respective year. The RTE law passed in 2012 also has got similar provisions.

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