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Bengal sets up panel to monitor RTE violation

Retired Justice Sadhan Gupta has been appointed the Chairman of the seven-member panel

Kolkata: At a time when some minority schools sought exemption from implementation of the Right to Education Act, as mandated by a Supreme Court directive on April 12, the West Bengal Government has made it clear that all the schools in Bengal including the minority unaided schools, would be liable to face legal action if found flouting the apex court directive.

The state has formed a seven member Right To Education Protection Authority (REPA) under the chairmanship of a retired Justice Sadhan Gupta.

The body would be tasked with ensuring strict compliance of the directive vis-à-vis the RTE till such time the State Commission for Child Rights is formed.

Informing this, School Education Minister Bratya Basu said, “Unaided minority schools may have been exempted by the Supreme Court in providing 25% reservation to poor students, but they will have to follow the rest of the Act. If any school, including the minority unaided schools flout the regulation, REPA will move for legal action against them. ”

“If any school denies admission, conducts admission test, charges donation, detains children in class, inflicts corporal punishment or encourages private tuition, they would be taken to task by the REPA. All the schools will have to follow each and every provision under RTE.

Only the unaided minority schools will be exempted from implementing the 25% reservation. They will have to follow the rest of the Act,” Basu said.

The students, parents or any stakeholder can lodge complaints with REPA through local authorities or through the state school education department’s website. Complaints can also be dropped at the complain box of Bikash Bhavan, the headquarters of the state Education Department in Salt Lake.

The complaints could also be anonymous. After getting a complaint, REPA will hold a hearing and start legal proceedings against the errant school.

The state government has also directed all the unrecognised schools to apply for recognition by June 30. “As per RTE all the schools will have to have recognition from the state or else they will not be able to function. Hence we are giving them time till June 30 to apply for the same,” Vikram Sen, Principal Secretary of School Education Department, said.
—iGovernment Bureau

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