The Central government on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that extension of the Right to Education (RTE) Act beyond the elementary level is a “major policy issue” which could only be decided once a new government is formed after the general elections.
“…the extension of RTE Act beyond elementary level is a major policy issue which could only be decided once the new government is formed after the general elections. However, the proposal in this regard has been submitted for in-principle decision of the Central government,” it submitted in an affidavit filed in the court.
In case of an amendment to the Constitution, consultations with all State and Union Territory (UT) governments will be required, the Centre said.
“Further, Section 7(1) of the RTE Act prescribes that the Central government and the state governments shall have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of this act, and this emphasises that the involvement of all states and UT governments will be necessary,” the affidavit said.
The Centre also said that till the time it takes a decision, the Delhi government has been requested to consider approaching those private unaided schools, where children under the RTE Act have been admitted and who have passed out of class VIII, to be continued in such private unaided schools (not situated on public land), beyond elementary level.
The court was hearing a plea filed by the NGO Social Jurist through advocate Ashok Agarwal, who has sought an amendment to the RTE Act, 2009, to provide free education to poor and disadvantaged children up to Class 12 in private unaided schools.