25% reservation in private schools
Section 12 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (the Act) has made it compulsory for every private unaided school to admit at least 25% of its entry level class from children belonging to weaker and disadvantaged groups. For this category of students the state government shall reimburse schools an amount equal to either the fees charged by the school or the per child expenditure in state schools, whichever is lower.
In a recent Supreme Court of India’s verdict dated, 13 April 2012, a bench comprising Chief Justice SH Kapadia and justices KS Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar, upheld the validity of the Section 12. The bench said that 25 percent reservation for students from weaker sections of society would apply uniformly to all government and unaided private schools except unaided private minority schools and boarding schools.
Center for civil society is following and engaging with the provision of section 12 very closely and in this section, readers can find useful resources, models debates, and counter debates on different nuances of the implementation of 25% reservation in private schools.
1) Model for implementation of 25% reservation in unaided private schools: A Center for Civil Society publication, New Delhi
"Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same. In the first section, we have examined the Model Rules (the Rules) with reference to the 25% reservation. In the second section, we have proposed a model for effective implementation of this provision.”
2) Supreme Court of India verdict on constitutional validity of Right to education act and the validity of clause 12 of the act.
(SOCIETY FOR UN-AIDED P.SCHOOL OF RAJ. Vs. U.O.I & ANR., Supreme Court of India, New Delhi)
3) How to fulfill the RTE promise – Parth J Shah, President, Center for Civil Society, New Delhi
“Centre should create an independent special purpose vehicle to manage the reimbursement, which could be called the India Inclusive Education Fund. The central government would commit to make contributions but more importantly, it would raise extra money from corporations, foundations and individuals.”
4) RTE: Awareness Campaign for 25% Quota in Delhi, 2013- Abhishek Bhattacharya, Center for Civil Society, New Delhi
"Centre for Civil Society in collaboration with South Delhi Municipal Corp. conducted an awareness campaign,'Sab School Chale Abhiyan, 2013' to raise awareness among the general public on the 25% quota in private schools.”
5) Perception study on the implementation of 25% reservation under RTE - School Choice Campaign, Center for Civil Society, New Delhi
"Parents that were unaware but eligible were keen to learn more about the RTE and the admission process under Clause 12. However they were fairly pessimistic about the actual benefits because of the perceived prevalence of bribery and corruption present in the system.”
6) What is the Per Child Expenditure in Government Schools? - Ambrish Dongre, Accountability Initiative, 19-April-2012
“SSA accounts for 67% of total elementary education budget of the GoI in FY 2012-12. As per calculations of my colleague, Shailey, per child allocation at an all India level under SSA stood at Rs 4,269 for financial year 2011-12. This number varies from state to state- Rs 7037 for Chattisgarh, Rs 3,049 for Gujarat, Rs 27,451 for Meghalaya to give just a few examples”
7) 25% Reservation under the RTE: Unpacking the Rules in PAISA States - Shailey Tucker and Gayatri Sahgal (Accountability Initiative)
8) Right to Education Act threatens education - Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, ET Bureau Apr 25, 2012
“This minor social engineering has produced some ridiculous protests from the elite. Yet, equally ridiculous is the claim that this will significantly help the poor. Of India's hundreds of millions of schoolchildren, only a few thousand poor will enter the elite havens. The others will remain at the mercy of third-rate government schools that provide no worthwhile education.”
9) Right to Education is the wrong thing for the right reason - Manish Sabharwal Chairman, Teamlease Services, Apr 23, 2012
“The Supreme Court opined on the 25% reservation for poor students but the toxic parts of RTE have nothing to do with this reservation. RTE timetables the extinction of 15lakh 'unrecognised' private schools where parents pay something to avoid something that is free”
10) What are the challenges & possible solutions in the implementation of RTE Act - Labonita Ghosh, ET Bureau Apr 17, 2012
“If it's hard to look beyond the socio-economic differences, schools must be urged to develop a [social] class-neutral atmosphere. Like discouraging home-brought tiffin and having a common canteen for all the students. Or a common stationery shop where everyone buys their supplies. "Some schools, which have kids from a mixed income group, have already banned certain kinds of pencil boxes and fancy school supplies to create uniformity," says Lambay, adding that all this should be done without a fuss.”
11) Analysis of the RTE Judgment: Part I – The Question of Severability - Dilip Rao on April 21, 2012, Center Right India
“The RTE Act is probably one of the most radical attempts at social engineering ever conducted in India. Few enactments in our country can rival it in terms of its reach or the level of its intrusiveness into the lives of ordinary residents. It signals, truly in every sense, the triumph of a leviathan state threatening to cast a dark shadow upon individual and communal liberties.”
12) Sibal’s RTE non-solution: focus on 7%, ignore the rest - R Jagannathan Apr 23, 2012
“This is quixotic. If you can’t fix 90 percent of the system (it’s 93 percent, according to private estimates) where no worthwhile education is delivered, why focus on the remaining 10 percent? Is this not an attempt to solve the problem from the wrong end? Or an attempt to pretend attempting a solution by shifting it to someone else’s shoulder?”
13) Sheila Dikshit thinks RTE is ‘unrealistic, regressive’ - Apr 19, 2012
“Telling private schools to cap this (charges) and take so many percentage of EWS, I think we are not being realistic. We are being backward-looking rather than forward-looking,” Dikshit said.
14) SC verdict on RTE: An eye-wash to the community – Josh, India
“Between mid-January and beginning of March, JOSH sent 135 complaints of violations by private schools in EWS admissions to the department of education and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Response by the department of education to last year’s complaints, inspires little confidence.”
15) Storming the elitist schools! - R. Ravikanth Reddy, Hyderabad, April 18, 2012
“Going by the average fee calculations the government has to reimburse Rs. 90 crore in the first year. It will increase every year as the classes increase along with number of students. These aspects are being studied. A committee has been constituted to workout the modalities on how best the Act can be implemented,” says R.V. Chandravadan, Director, Rajiv Vidya Mission, Andhra Pradesh.”
16) The RTE Act: A cruel and unusual punishment - by Lakshmi Chaudhry, Apr 13, 2012
“This should make me angry. But it does not. I find it absurd that parents will often get worked up about a slum kid denying their kid a seat, but merely shrug their shoulders when others get preference because of connections, sibling preference, alumni status, or donations. If our system already rewards children for being wealthy, why not reward them for being poor and disadvantaged?”
17) Schools in AP, Madras to challenge SC order on RTE, Apr 13, 2012
“Over 7,500 school managements from the state will challenge the Supreme Court directive on the Right to Education Act with a review petition”
17) Informed debate needed, says managements' body official - The Hindu, Hyderabad, April 18, 2012
“While welcoming the recent Supreme Court order to allocate 25 per cent of the seats in private schools for poor students, founder-president, Andhra Pradesh Recognised Schools' Managements Association, S. Sreenivas Reddy, cautions that the issue needs an informed debate.”
18) Mad rush to obtain minority status after Supreme Court ruling - TOI, TNN Apr 25, 2012, 02.00AM IST
“City has many schools run by linguistic minorities including Sindhi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu medium schools. Many of these were founded by religious and linguistic minorities' societies who never felt the need of obtaining respective certificates. However, in order to claim the exemption from the RTE, they are rushing to obtain minorities status.”
19) Great education debate: will it create a revolution or social friction? - IANS, 16 April 2012
Damodar Prasad Goyal, president of the Society for Unaided Private Schools, says it is more about the autonomy of schools than reservation.“We are not opposed to 25 percent reservation for EWS students, but it is our fundamental right to have the autonomy to admit students… the government cannot nationalise 25 percent seats,” Goyal told IANS.
20) Debating The School Fee – Ashok Agarwal, Lawyer
“When Government can run its schools with a particular amount of expenditure, we see no reason as to why an unaided private school charge fee from the fee-paying parents more than the amount of expenditure per child spent by the Government on its students.”