Supreme Court directs States, Union Territories to respond on plea alleging violation of Right to Education (RTE) Act

Supreme Court directs States, Union Territories to respond on plea alleging violation of Right to Education (RTE) Act

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam and also comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice MY Eqbal, issued notice to the Centre, all states and Union Territories directing it to reply on a petition filed by an organization National Coalition for Education which alleged that schools across the country violated Right to Education (RTE) Act. The petition which alleged that there was lack of resources and failure to implement provisions of the RTE Act leading to a major decline in education performance, sought for its proper implementation.The PIL, which has been moved by the NGO national convener Rama Kant Rai, has sought nine directions covering different areas to comply with the provisions of the Right to Education Act. The Bench sought their response after summer vacation.

A direction was sought by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves that within six months all the states should complete the required neighborhood mapping and six months after completion of the process new schools be constructed. He told the court that the statistics given in the PIL were taken from the government sources and different reports. The petition asked the states and Union Territories to employ and train one-lakh additional professionally trained teachers to end the shortage of educators within a year. The petition further sought for a direction that all deficient schools be upgraded by the states and Union Territories with suitable physical infrastructure so as to be in compliance with the RTE Act within six months.

The petition also said the states and Union Territories should reveal the number of students admitted under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in the state in accordance with the provisions of the Act. It was alleged in the petition that it was clear that the Right to Education was being violated across the country, whichhadcontinued for years and remain today in face of the RTE Act's requirement that they be fixed within three years of it coming into force. It said itcontinueddespite previous orders from the apex court on October 3, 2012 to remedy them and widespread awareness of their existence by various responsible governments and authorities.

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