Big announcement by Patiala DC for Schools
District Administration clarifies legal position to Schools & Management that no screening of children for admission is allowed under RTE Act. District Administration shares email for any person/ parent aggrieved.
Patiala, April 8,2023
In light of the directions of the Department of Education, Government of Punjab that the admission procedure be as per law and no child subjected to any harrassment, the District Magistrate-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, Ms. Sakshi Sawhney issued an order stating that as per the RTE Act no school or person was allowed to conduct any screening for admission. To ensure compliance of the law, she also released an email id for parents to bring to light any grievance and assured strict legal action.
She said, “it has been brought to my notice by the district education officer (DEO) Secondary vide letter dated April 8,2023 that there have been instances where Schools have been subjecting students / parents to interviews/ tests/ interactions for admission to the school. Many parents are unwilling to give a formal/ written complaint as they fear that this may prejudice the chances of admission of their child in choice of their school.”
She informed that “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act) clearly prohibits any screening procedure by any school or person. No capitation fee and screening procedure for admission is to be adopted by any educational institute.’
Sawhney added that no school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.
If any school is found violating the provisions and receives capitation fee, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged. Similarly, if any school is found adopting of a screening procedure of a child, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions.
DC highlighted the Supreme Court judgment in Society For Un-Aided Private Schools of Rajasthan vs Union of India, in which a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India held that “It was pointed out that the object of the provisions of Section 13(1) read with Section 2(d) is to ensure that schools adopt an admission procedure which is non-discriminatory, rational and transparent and the schools do not subject children and their parents to admission tests and interviews so as to deny admission. I find no infirmity in Section 13, which has nexus with the object sought to be achieved, that is access to education.”
DC Sawhney informed the parents that “Section 32 of the RTE Act outlines the procedure for Redressal of Grievances where in any person having a grievance relating to the right of the child under this Act may make a written complaint to the local authority having jurisdiction i.e., DEO, Patiala.”
Therefore, in view to safeguard the interests of the children and their rights under the RTE Act, District Magistrate directed that the Statutory position as well as the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India may be reiterated and widely publicized so that the parents, the School & their Managements are aware of the legal provisions and do not contravene them in any way. She said that if any person having a grievance relating to the rights of the child under the Act may send an email to the DEO, Patiala at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Orders direct that any contravention shall be dealt with strictly and necessary action as per law will be immediately taken.