Monday, May 20, 2024

Delhi High Court seeks response of Centre, Delhi govt on bringing all religious educational institutions under RTE

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on a PIL challenging the provision of the Right to Education Act, 2009 and seeking direction to bring the Madrasas, Vedic Pathshalas and educational institutions imparting religious instruction within the ambit of the Act.

A Bench of Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought responses of all respondents, including the Central Government and the government of NCT of Delhi and listed the matter for hearing on March 30.

The plea said that Section 1(4) & 1(5) deprive educational excellence to Madrasas, Vedic Pathshalas & educational institutions imparting religious instruction & has sought direction to declare the related sections of the Right to Education Act 2009 as arbitrary irrational & violative of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A of the Constitution.

The plea was moved by Ashwini Upadhyay, in the High Court of Delhi after Apex Court refused to hear the matter & advised the petitioner to approach the High Court.

The Supreme Court had said, “We are of the opinion that the petitioner should approach the High Court by filing a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India raising all points that are urged in this writ petition. The petitioner seeks & is permitted to withdraw this writ petition & approach the High Court. We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.”

The petitioner submitted that compulsory education which mandates every child to attend school but lacks in providing an effective common curriculum is worse than providing no education at all.

“The Hallmark of the compulsory education system is syllabus & curriculum which must be equally & uniformly applied across the board, so as to ensure conditions, in which each child are placed on an equal playing field, competent to take on the challenges of real-world & empowered to avail the opportunities which life offers in its myriad circumstances, equally,” said the plea.

The plea further added that the Right of children should not be restricted to only free & compulsory education but must be extended to equal quality education without discrimination on social-economic religious-cultural background thus common syllabus & curriculum is essential for all the children.

The petitioner submitted that common & compulsory education up to 14 years would achieve a code of common culture, removal of disparity & depletion of discriminatory values in human relations. It would also enhance virtues & improve quality of life, elevate the thoughts, which advance constitutional philosophy of equal society.

The plea reads, “The introduction of a common syllabus-common curriculum would enable every child to be placed on a level playing field for challenges of future & meaningfully contribute in achieving the great golden goals as set out in Preamble, particularly fraternity dignity unity & national integration. Democracy depends on education so dissemination of learning with the search for new knowledge must be maintained. The golden goals of the Preamble can’t be achieved without nullifying S.1(4) & 1(5) & providing common education to all children. Our Children are not only future citizens but also future flag bearers of India & primary education connotes the whole course of scholastic instruction, which a child has received”.


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