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     Home > Culture and Society  >  2013-05-14 16:43:58
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Education law in India violates rights, Church officials

May 14, 2013: A law introduced three years ago to ensure universal education for all children violates minority rights and it needs to be amended, says Indian bishops' education officials.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India’s education Secretaries from various regions met recently in New Delhi to formulate a memorandum, suggesting amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) act.

They want exempt all Minority institutions, government aided and non-aided, from the purview of the act saying it violates their rights.The act, enacted in 2009, makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14. It requires all private schools to reserve 25 percent of seats to children of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, determined by the government.

The Catholic school officials say their schools are doing much more than what the law requires, but being bound by the law violates rights guaranteed in the constitution to religious and linguistic minorities to establish and manage their own institutions. They also said being bound by such a law makes them subject to harassment by officials.

Some 25 people from across India attended the meeting lead by Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairperson of the bishops' Office for Education and Culture. The chairman of the Parliamentary committee for Human Resource Development Oscar Fernandes paused few points about the provision and intent of the Act.

He said he was fully aware of the fact that Christian minority institutions are doing more than what is envisaged as far as educating the poor and weaker sections of society was concerned. He assured that we could present the memorandum and he would place it before the parliamentary committee and call for a hearing and see what needs to be done towards the amendment.

The Church officials plan to submit the memorandum to Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson and the Education Minister before the monsoon session of the Parliament.

(Source: UCAN News)


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