Panel set up for minority education in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Government has set up a committee in a step to study various issues pertaining to minority education.

The 10-member panel will study the existing and proposed schemes to better the minority education scenario.

Minority schools are presently exempted from implementing certain clauses of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, like the compulsory 25% reservation of seats in primary classes for economically and socially disadvantaged children, The Times of India reported on Sunday.

The committee will study all these clauses and come up with a new policy for minority education and it will be headed by Education Commissioner Vipin Sharma. It will have to submit its report within two months, said a government resolution on Saturday.

One of the main issues regarding minority education in the State is the refusal by schools to reserve 25% seats in their entry-level classes for children from poor background as demanded by the RTE Act. Many schools had approached the court regarding the same and the latter had ruled in schools’ favour in those cases.

Another controversy is the fact that many of the schools with minority status had less than 50% minority students.

While state officials had claimed that with less than 50% students of the minority community, the school cannot claim minority status, this was again quashed in a legal battle.

“Various court orders have said clauses within the RTE Act are not applicable for minority institutions. Hence, there is a need to formulate an administrative and educational policy for minority schools, teachers and students,” says the government resolution.

“At present there is no such policy. To clear the ambiguity regarding all this, a law and policy is required.”

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