Q 1. What is Right to Education Act?
“Every Child of the age six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till the completion of elementary education.” Act
Q 2. Is the Act Applicable to my State?
Yes, it applies to all the states in the union of India (except Jammu and Kashmir). The Act was passed by the central government in 2009 and came into effect from 1st April 2011. The “Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011” came into effect in November 2011. TN Act
Q 3. What other areas does the RTE cover other than providing free education?
The RTE in addition to ensuring free and compulsory education also gives directives for stakeholders in education including schools, teachers, local authorities for proper infrastructure/other facilities of school, implementation of child friendly curriculum and protection of children.
Q 4. What are the different types of schools defined in RTE according to grants received from government?
Section 12 of RTE is defined to 4 different categories of schools according to the type of grants received from government -
- A school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or a local authority; shall provide free and compulsory education to all children admitted therein; (Government school – free and compulsory education to all children)
- An aided school receiving aid or grants to meet whole or parts of its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority; shall provide free and compulsory education to a minimum of twenty-five percent; (Private aided school)
- A school belonging to a specified category; and (Special Category Schools)
- An unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority; shall admit in class 1 to the extent of at least twenty-five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education till its completion. (Private unaided school)
Q 5. What does the RTE specify about reservation of seats in PRIVATE UNAIDED SCHOOLS and SPECIAL CATEGORY SCHOOLS?
All private, unaided schools and those in the specified category (such as the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodyayas, Sainik Schools) have to reserve minimum of 25% seats for the entry class for the children from disadvantaged section or Economically weaker section from the neighbourhood.
Q 6. What does the RTE specify about reservation of seats in PRIVATE AIDED SCHOOLS?
Private aided schools shall have to admit children from similar backgrounds in the proportion of aid they receive from the government, in the induction class each year, and will not receive any extra reimbursement for these children. For example, if the total annual contribution from the government to an aided school is 70% of its total recurring expenditure for a particular year, it will have to admit 70% children in the induction class that year (and not for each class of the elementary stage)
Q 7. Which children are eligible to apply for the 25% reserved seats?
The 25% reserved seats are applicable to the children from disadvantaged section or economically weaker section under Section 12 (C) of the Act.
Child belong to disadvantaged group -
- Children belonging Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Castes, Most Backward Castes
- Children Affected with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus*
- Transgender children*
- Child of scavenger*
- Differently abled*
Child belonging to weaker section – child belonging to such parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than Rs. 2 lakh*
* G.O. 174, School Education Department, TamilNadu
Q 8. Which schools can an eligible child apply to for admission?
The Act states that all children are eligible for admission in neighbourhood schools.
The area or limits of neighbourhood within which a school has to be established by the State Government is -
- For children in classes I to V, a school shall be established within a walking distance of one km of the neighbourhood.
- For children in classes VI to VIII, a school shall be established within a walking distance of 3 km of the neighbourhood
- the neighborhood limit can be extended with the prior approval of the State Government if the requisite number of seats has not been filled by the school
# As per TN RTE Rules PART III, 4
Q 9. Which schools are exempt from all the provisions of the RTE Act?
The exempted schools are as follows:
- Schools in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Madrassas, Vedic Patshalas and educational institutions primarily imparting religious instruction – Religious Schools
- Unaided minority schools are excluded from the Act, according to the 2012 Supreme Court Judgment
- Boarding Schools or residential schools, which admit students only after Class 1.
In boarding or residential schools, which have Class 1, the 25% reservation applies to day scholars only.
# Based on the Supreme Court directive, the Central Government guideline on 13th July 2012
Q 10. What is the admission procedure for these free seats to eligible children?
“….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.”
# As per The Ministry of Human Resource Development instructions in its Guidelines on Procedure for School Admission Under RTE Act, 2009 issued on 23.11.2010
Q 11. Can the private school conduct tests, interviews, educational profiling of parents and other screening procedures for selection of children in the 25% reserved seats?
No. The Act explicitly states that for all children, including those in the 25% reserved category:
“No school or person shall, while admitting a child…subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.”
“…..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”
The Act further states that:
Any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions subjects a child to screening procedure, shall be PUNISHABLE WITH FINE, which may extend to TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND RUPEES for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions.”
Q 12. Can private schools charge capitation fees or “donations” at the time of admission?
No. The Act specifies that for all children in all types of schools:
- No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee
- Any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions…. receive capitation fee, shall be punishable with FINE which may extend to TEN TIMES the capitation fee charged
Individual states and union territories have also issued rules which specify the grievance redressal mechanism to lodge complaints.
Q 13. Can schools provide separate education for children in the 25% reserved free seats?
No. The Ministry has categorically clarified in its Model Rules that
“the school …… shall ensure that children admitted ….shall NOT BE SEGREGATED from the other children in the classrooms nor shall their classes be held at places and timings different from the classes held for the other children. NOT BE DISCRIMINATED from the rest of the children in any manner pertaining to entitlements and facilities such as text books, uniforms, library and ICT facilities, extra-curricular and sports.”
Individual states and union territories have also emphasized this point in their rules which specify the norms for inclusive education.
Q 14. Is it true that no child can be expelled or failed?
Yes. No school, governmental or private, can detain (fail) or expel any child at the elementary stage.
The Delhi High Court has already given a verdict on this on the basis of the Act (April 7, 2010), against St. Xavier’s School, Delhi, which had to take back all the children they had declared failed and expelled from the school.
Q 15. What is the Timeline of the implementation of the 25% quota?
- Every School has to prepare the details of entry level class and seat by April 2 and display the same at the School Notice Board.
- All the Eligible Schools shall issue and call for submission of application from May 3 to May 18 (this was earlier May 3rd to 9th, but extended by a court order)
Q 16. What are the documents necessary for application under the 25% quota for Private Schools?
- Proof of Age: (a) Birth Certificate | (b) Hospital/Auxiliary and Midwife register | (c) Anganwadi record | (d) Declaration through an affidavit of the age of the child by the Parent / Guardian.
- Proof of Residential Address: (a) Family card | (b) Voter ID card | (c) Adhar ID card | (d) Driving license | (e) Bank passbook | (f) Telephone bill | (g) PAN card | (h) Certificate of Residence issued by VAO | (i) ID card issued by State Govt. / Central Govt. /Public Sector Undertakings
- Certificate of belong to Disadvantaged section or Economically Weaker Section (as applicable)
Q 17. What are the relevant authorities for issuing certificates for children in EWS and DG?
|Scheduled Caste (S.C.)||Tahsildar, Revenue Department/ Competent authority in the case of children from other States|
|Scheduled Tribe (S.T.)||RDO/Sub Collector, Revenue Department/ Competent authority in the case of children from other States|
|Backward caste/ Most Backward Caste (BC, MBC)||Deputy Tahsildar, Revenue Department|
|Orphan||District Social Welfare Officer, Department of Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme|
|Affected with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV)||Medical Officer authorised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare|
|Transgender||Medical Officer authorised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare|
|Child of scavenger||Competent Authority authorised by the Commissioners’ of the respective Corporations, Municipalities, Executive Officers’ of the respective Town Panchayats and Presidents of the respective Village Panchayats/ District Collector or the authority authorised by the District Collector|
|Differently abled||District Differently abled Rehabilitation Officer|
Economically Weaker Section
|Parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than Rs. 2,00,000/-||Tahsildar, Revenue Department|
- “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009” Gazette No: 35 published by Government of India on 26th August 2009
- “Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 notified on 18th November 2011
- 25PERCENT.IN, http://www.25percent.in/faqs
- RightToEducation.in, http://righttoeducation.in/faq?field_stakeholder_tid=All&field_category_faq_tid=294&title=&page=2
Compiled by volunteers of Becoming I foundation for Project ‘Knock Knock’