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RTE

RIGHT TO EDUCATION ACT

1. Section 13 (1) of the Right of children to free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act,2009, provides inter-alia, that while admitting a child, no school or person shall subject the child or his/her parents to any 'screening procedure'. Section 2(o) of the RTE Act defines the term ''screening procedure'' to mean the method of selection for a child, in preference over another, other than a random method. Further, Section 12(1)(c) of the Act provides that unaided schools and specified category schools shall admit at least 25% of the strength of class I, children belonging to weaker sections and children belonging to disadvantaged group from the neighbor - hood and provide them free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education. Further where the school admits children at pre-primary level, such admissions shall be made at that level.

Section 13(1) read with Section 2(o) of the RTE Act, is to ensure that schools adopt an admission procedure which is non-discriminatory rational and transparent; and that schools do not subject children and their parents to admission tests and interviews in order to decide whether they will admit a child or not. The RTE Act is anchored in the belief that availability of equal educational opportunities to children belonging to different social and economic background will reinforce the idea of equality enshrined in our constitution, and ensure that children are not discriminated on the basis of social or economic background or any such criteria.
In view of the above, the government of India has issued the following guidelines under section 35(1) of RTE Act 2009.

(i) With regard to admissions in class 1(or pre-primary class as the case may be) under section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act in unaided and specified category schools, schools shall follow a system of random selection out of the applications received from children belonging to disadvantaged groups and weaker sections for filling the pre-determined number of seats in that class, which should be not less than 25% of the strength of the class.

(ii) For admission to the remaining 75% of the seats (or a lesser percentage depending upon the number of seats fixed by the school for admission under section 12(1)(c), in respect of unaided schools and specified category schools, and for all the seats in the aided schools, each school should formulate a policy under which admissions are to take place. This policy should include criteria for categorization of applicants in terms of the objectives of the school on a rational, reasonable and just basis. There shall be no profiling of the child based on parental educational qualifications. The policy should be placed by the school in the public domain, given wide publicity and explicitly stated in the school prospectus. There shall be no testing and interviews for any child/parent falling within or outside the categories and selection would be on a random basis. Admission should be made strictly on this basis.

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