J&K govt braces for free elementary education quota for poor students in schools

J&K govt braces for free elementary education quota for poor students in schools

Srinagar: The School Education department will soon issue guidelines for private schools in Jammu and Kashmir for implementation of the mandatory free quota of admissions to children from economically weaker sections of society under a government of India Act.

The law came into force after the abrogation of Article 370 and downsizing into union territory in August last year.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 provides for free and compulsory elementary education to children in the age group of 6-14 years.

Private schools in J&K, according to the law, are now legally bound to admit 25 percent students in class 1 from the economically weaker sections of the society every year. They have to provide them free education till they complete their elementary education that is up to class 8.

Principal Secretary School Education Department J&K, Asgar Samoon tweeted on Wednesday that guidelines for implementation of the central Act will be notified by the department.

“Quota for economically weaker sections in private schools being notified for implementation by all schools,” he wrote referring to RTE, 2009.

Besides private schools, those belonging to specified categories are also supposed to follow the same pattern under the Act.

As per the RTE, 2009, aided schools receiving grants from the government shall also have to impart free education to such proportion of children for which the annual grants suffice the annual recurring expenses on them subject to a minimum 25 percent of such children.

Also, private schools having a pre-schooling facility set up too shall have to provide the pre-schooling education to children on similar lines as per the RTE, 2009.

The Act says that the Central and respective state governments shall have the concurrent responsibility to carry out the provisions of the Act.

Significantly, the RTE, 2009 also does away with private tuitions by government teachers and capitation fee by private schools besides barring authorities from involving teachers into non-teaching assignments.

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