RTE Act Section 16: Benefactors?
|- Sanjukta Basu, Associate, Research
Most of the discussions on the Right to Education (RTE) Act focus on reserving the seats in the private schools for disadvantaged groups (Section 12), pupil-teacher ratio, school management committees or the infrastructure norms. However, another interesting and relatively unexplored part of the RTE Act is Section 16. Section 16 of the RTE Act prohibits expulsion or retention of students till the completion of elementary education. In simple words, it implies that no student can be retained under any condition whatsoever. This is one of the least discussed segments of the Act. Moreover, there are some fundamental and critical questions which have not been addressed properly since its implementation. For instance – What is the purpose of such a clause? Who is it benefitting – the students, the teachers, or the system on the whole?
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