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SC To Decide If Schools Affiliated To International Boards Come Under Right To Education Act

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 Aug 2019 1:54 PM GMT
SC To Decide If Schools Affiliated To International Boards Come Under Right To Education Act
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The Supreme Court bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari has issued notice on a petition filed by an eleven year old child raising the issue whether a school affiliated to an International Board will come under the purview of Right To Education Act, 2009 (RTE). The petitioner, Master Rajpurohit Ridham Devichand, was a student of Ajmera Global School, which is affiliated...

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The Supreme Court bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari has issued notice on a petition filed by an eleven year old child raising the issue whether a school affiliated to an International Board will come under the purview of Right To Education Act, 2009 (RTE). 

The petitioner, Master Rajpurohit Ridham Devichand, was a student of Ajmera Global School, which is affiliated to Cambridge International Education (CIE) and following the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) syllabus.

He approached the High Court when he was held back in 6th grade by the school. According to him, the school's action flouted the 'no-detention clause' in Section 16 of the RTE, Act, which explicitly prohibits holding back of a child until completion of elementary education.

The petitioner urged that the school arbitrarily denied an opportunity for  him to appear in the re-examination when the same was given to other similarly placed students. Further, the petitioner contended that the detention coupled with "uncharitable comments" made by the school in the report card undermined his self-worth and dignity.

However, the division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel of Bombay High Court held that school was at liberty to set its own standards, untrammeled by the RTE Act as it was affiliated to an international board. The High Court also chastised the parents of the petitioner  for not providing adequate training at home for reading and writing.

In the SLP filed against the decision, the petitioner states that the High Court failed failed to address the question whether an international school comes under the purview of RTE Act. It is also pointed out that the school refused to issue the promotion certificate to the petitioner child even after he decided to change to another school.

The SLP highlights that as per 2(n) of the RTE Act, the definition of  'schools' is inclusive and does not explicitly exclude unaided schools which are affiliated to international national boards. Moreover, the RTE Act is a child centric act enacted to secure the welfare of the children and not a school centric act to secure the "oblique and commercial motives" of the school authorities, argues the petitioner.

The petitioner was represented through Adv. Purnima Krishna (AOR), Adv. M.F. Philip, Adv. Gajendra Singh Rajpurohit, Adv. Akhil George and Adv. Thanseela M.B. 

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