HC issues notice to Govt on 25% reservation in pvt schools

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The State High Court today issued notice and sought response of the Government and three leading private schools of Kashmir about 25 percent reservation in private schools for admission to the students belonging to under-privileged class.
The Division Bench of Justice MH Attar and Justice BS Walia directed the authorities to file their response to the PIL within a period of three weeks and directed listing of the matter for further consideration in 1st week of March.
The PIL filed through Advocate Altaf Mehraj seeks direction upon the Government to make the admission of 25 percent quota free for students belonging to the under privileged class of the society in all private schools of the State as compulsory as has been legislated by the Central Government and Supreme Court of India.
Court issued notice to Chief Secretary of the State, Commi-ssioner Secretary Education Department, Commissioner Secretary Revenue Department, and three leading schools of the Valley namely; Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson School, Burn Hall School and Presentation Convent School through its Principals.
Direction is also being sought by the petitioner that status in respect of leased land currently under possession of the private schools be filed before the court along with the tenure of lease to these institutions.
Petitioner prayed that a direction be issued to the school authorities to disclose the list of beneficiaries of the students of lower class who have got benefitted to the ‘under privileged’ class of the society without payment of any fees since these schools were established.
It is further contended that authorities be directed to disclose the list of all the private schools getting the grants and funds from the State and the amount of grant and funding issued in their favour.
It is astonishing, the petitioner says, to watch the fall in the quality of education being imparted in the public educational institutions as compared to the education being imparted by the private players.
“The fall in the quality education in the public educational system has actually paved way for the mushrooming of the private educational institutions thereby making a way for the deepening gorge in between the access of quality education to the under privileged class of the society”, reads the petition.
Petitioner submits the apathy of public schools established and run by the State are lacking basic infrastructural requirements like the facilities of portable water, sanitary facilities, appropriate lighting, cooling and heating arrangements which have and are all contributing towards the ever decreasing quality of education in the schools run by the State and on the other hand and the private schools are actually leading to a classification of the society fractioned in between the human resource emanating from the public Schools and the Private Schools.
Petitioner submits that the respondent-authorities have granted land on lease to various private schools which even include some of the premier Private institutions of the State and alleges that these institutions as per the information sought through RTI are paying a minimal rent in lieu of the lease granted to such institutions for the land which is situated in the commercially high value places and in many cases the State has not even framed and decided the annual rentals to be recoverable from such institutions.

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