Kerala HC stays amendments to Kerala Education Rules citing violation of Right to Education act

Kerala High Court | Photo: PTI

Kochi: Kerala High Court here on Monday stayed the amendments brought to Kerala Education Rules (KER) in April, for one month.

The court’s intervention comes in the wake of a petition which contended that the recent amendments to KER violate the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and also the various provisions of the Kerala Education Act, 1958 and the Kerala Education Rules of 1959. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan found this argument prima facie valid.

The petition has been filed by the Private School (Aided) Managers Association’s star level general secretary and others.

The additional advocate general has informed the court that if the mandates affect the right to education, then it will be rectified. The person has also sought time for filing the affidavit on the matter. The matter is posted for June 10.

The amendments are related to additional division and attendance of the students. Government aimed at curbing the creation of 'illegal' teaching vacancies by showing exaggerated admission numbers. The new amendments ask the schools to strike out students who do not attend classes for a long period. Besides, the government postponed the creation of an additional division to October. A new division implies appointment of a new teacher, which, in turn, is an additional liability for the government.
However, staying the amendments, the court observed that though the intention of the government is justified, it seems they have not given much thought about the consequences of the amendments.

The RTE act mandates the schools to ensure action to retain the student in the school to reduce the dropout rate. The aided school managements argued that striking out names from register is against this clause of the RTE. It may be noted that Kerala has the lowest dropout rate in the country.

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