Procedure for Admission in Schools Under Section 13(1) and Section 12(1)(C) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act : Hrd Ministry Issues Guidelines

The HRD Ministry has received representations from several unaided and aided schools seeking clarification on the procedure to be followed for admission. The Ministry held a meeting with various stakeholders on the 14th August, 2010 to elicit their views for formulating a guideline for admission, which would be consistent with the spirit of the RTE Act, specifically with section 13(1) read with section 2(o) of the Act.

Section 13(1) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 provides, that while admitting a child, no school or person shall subject the child or his/her parents to any ‘screening procedure’. Section 2(o) of the RTE Act defines the term ‘screening procedure’ to mean the ‘method of selection for admission of a child, in preference over another, other than a random method’. Further, section 12(1)(c) of the Act provides that unaided schools and specified category schools shall admit at least 25 per cent of the strength of class1, children belonging to weaker section and children belonging to disadvantaged group from the neighbourhood and provide them free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education. Further, where the school admits children at pre-primary level, such admissions shall be made at that level.

The objective of the provisions of section 13(1) read with section 2(a) is to ensure that schools adopt an admission procedure which is non-discriminatory, rational and transparent and that schools do not subject children and their parents to admission tests and interview in order to decide whether they will admit a child or not. Admission tests and interviews are generally a tool for profiling and eliminating children, and therefore, screening to assess a child’s intelligence’ should be prohibited. The RTE Act is approved in the belief that availability of equal educational opportunities to children belonging to different social and economic background will reinforce the idea of equality ensures to our Constitution and ensure that children are not discriminated on the basis to social or economic background or any such criteria. There is need for moving towards composite classrooms with children from diverse backgrounds rather than homogenous and exclusivist schools. It is an academically established point that heterogeneity in the classroom leads to greater creativity.

Keeping these objectives in view, the following guidelines are issued under section 25(1) of the RTE Act, 2009.

(i) With regard to admissions in class 1 (or pre-primary class as the case may be) under section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act in unaided and ‘specified category’ schools, 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 not be not less than 25 per cent of the strength of the class.

(ii) For admission to remaining 75 per cent of the seats (or a lesser percentage depending upon the number of seats fixed by the school for admission under section 12(1)(c), in respect of unaided schools and specified category schools, and for all the seats in the aided schools, each school should formulate a policy under which admissions are to take place. This policy should include criteria for categorization of applicants in terms of the objectives of the school on a rational reasonable and just basis. There shall be no profiling of the child based on parental educational qualifications. The policy should be placed by the school in the public domain, given wide publicity and explicitly seated in the school prospectus. 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. Admission should be made strictly on the basis.

MV/Hb  (Release ID :67597)


Media can’t report on sexual assault on children without consent

Aarti Dhar in THE HINDU

Bill prohibits comments on child, either as accused or victim of an offence, which may lower character or infringe privacy

No report shall disclose address, photograph, family details or school

For violation, Bill suggests jail for not less than one year

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to rein in the media, the draft Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2010 prevents reporting on any child involved in an offence without “complete and authentic” information and without the consent of the child or his or her guardian. The publisher or owner of the media or the studio or photographic facilities shall be jointly held liable for the “acts and omissions” of his employees.

The Bill, piloted by the Women and Child Development Ministry, seeks to protect children against sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, and provide for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences. The gender neutral draft describes a child as an individual under 18.

No person from any form of media or studio or photographic facilities shall, without having complete and authentic information and without the consent of the child or his or her parents or guardian, make any report or present comments on any child who may be a involved in an offence, under this proposed law, either as an accused or as victim, which may have the effect of lowering character or infringing privacy, says one of the provisions of the draft Bill.

No report in any media shall disclose, without the consent of the child or his/her parents or guardian, the address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particular which may lead to revealing the identity of the child. The Bill recommends imprisonment for not less than one year and extending up to two years with a fine or both for anyone violating the provisions.

“Media must be sensitive”

Reacting to the media-related provisions, Press Council of India Chairman G.N. Ray said the PCI as an institution did not believe in any kind of blanket gag on the media. “But it has been noticed to the dismay that media has often transgressed its limits as has been seen in the Aarushi murder case,” he told The Hindu.

The media has to be cautioned and must be sensitive to these issues,” Justice (retd) Ray said, while pointing out that curbing media reporting was a serious issue.

Call for debate

While maintaining the dignity of the child victim is important, the misdeeds of the accused should be brought to light, says Amod Kanth, chairman of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

“There needs to be a proper debate on whether or not the media should be prohibited from reporting on sexual offences against children and the media is one good platform for doing that. We cannot prohibit a discussion on such issues in society and when a debate is initiated, some references are bound to come up.”

Pointing out that the amended Juvenile Justice Act also prohibited identification of children involved in criminal activities, Mr. Kanth said the provision, however, was not being implemented. Another issue to ponder was that of a child who was not alive, and the mention of gory details in the media to damage the reputation and dignity of the child and the reputation of the family, he said citing the Aarushi case.