Karnataka: Government directed to provide free, compulsory education

February 18, 2013

The Karnataka High Court on February 12 directed the state and the Central governments to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged between six to 14 years. Justice Hulwadi G. Ramesh passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by Sarvodaya Parents Association and others on fee hikes in unaided private schools in Bangalore.
The court in its order observed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education, 2009 (aka RTE Act) is not only for the 25 percent of the selected students under RTE Act but it is compulsory for all children in the age group of six-14 under Article 21(A) of the Constitution and the schools cannot oust the children from schools for not paying the fee.

“It is the responsibility of the state and the central governments to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged six-14″, said the court. The court further directed the school authorities to approach the state government for reimbursement of the fee of students who have not paid it yet and asked “the private managements to put forth their claim with the state government with regard to the fee structure and recover the same from the government”.

The court also directed the education departments of the state and the central governments to hold seminars, giving opportunities to the Teachers’ Associations, Parents Associations, ICSE and CBSE Boards “to fix a reasonable fee as a policy decision” and that both the governments shall earmark funds for providing free education.

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