The Delhi High Court has underlined the need for providing good facilities to poor students in private schools and directed the government to consider revising the rates for reimbursement of the cost of their books and uniform.
Justice Kailash Gambhir in his order Friday said, “Students belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) are entitled to same benefits as other students.”
The court was hearing a suit seeking contempt action against a Delhi-based private school for allegedly not complying with the court’s earlier order for reimbursement the money spent by poor students on books and uniform.
“Students of the EWS are entitled to read the same books as are available to other students, otherwise they will not be able to compete with them,” the court said while directing the school to file its reply within three weeks.
A parent had approached the court stating that her two children studying in the school’s classes 10 and 6 were not given summer uniforms and the free books.
However, counsel for the school cited financial limitations and informed the court that the school can bear an annual cost of Rs.2,151 for the petitioner’s child in class 10 and Rs.3,355 for her child in class 6.
The cost of the summer uniform is Rs.1,500, counsel said.
“But the government is not releasing more than Rs.500 as uniform subsidy per student and Rs.600 towards the books for each poor student in class 10 and Rs. 244 for each poor student in class 6,” counsel said.
The court also directed the Delhi government to consider revising the current schedule of reimbursement of books and uniform for poor students.
“Keeping in mind the objective of the new legislation for providing free elementary education to children, the government should spell out the rationale behind fixing such rates which are quite on the lower side,” the court said while fixing the next hearing for June 4.