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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tamil Nadu CHENNAI - HC orders free education to 3 poor kids in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: Perhaps for the first time in the country, the Madras high court on Tuesday cited the Right to Education Act and ordered that three poor students be given free education by two unaided schools. The court also ordered state education department officials to provide them with free uniform and textbooks within two days.

Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, passing orders on the writ petitions of K Sivakumar and P Mohan, directed two private unaided schools - the Ramakrishna Matriculation School at Vepoor near Vriddachalam and Bharatha Vidyalaya Matriculation School near Tiruporur in Kancheepuram district - to allow three of their students to continue their education.

While the school managements could claim the fee from the government as per the provisions of the Act, the education department authorities shall provide uniform and textbooks to the three students within two days, the judge said. While Sivakumar said his son studying in Class 1 at Ramakrishna Matriculation School could not pay tuition fee and hence was not allowed to study in the school, Mohan said his two sons, studying in Class 4 and 6 respectively, too faced similar fate at Bharatha Vidyalaya Matriculation School.

Citing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act), their petitions said the act came into force on April 1, 2010. As per the act, every child up to the age of 14 is entitled to free and compulsory education from a neighbourhood school. Even an unaided private school must set apart 25% of the student intake for candidates from SC, ST, MBC, BC and other economically weaker sections of the society, if their family income is below the minimum limit stipulated by the Centre.

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