Education Crisis For 80,000 RTE Students In Pune As Class IX And X Fees Pose Insurmountable Challenge

Share this News:

Pune, 22nd June 2023: The future of nearly 80,000 students benefiting from the Right To Education (RTE) Act hangs in the balance as they face uncertainty regarding their education. These students, who have been promoted to Class IX, are now required to pay fees in order to continue their studies in private schools that had accommodated them under the Act.


Private schools affiliated with the CBSE and ICSE boards are mandated to reserve 25 percent of their seats from Class I to VIII for students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. However, once these students complete their education up to Class VIII, which is provided free of cost, their parents are expected to pay the fees for their further education. Given their annual income of less than a lakh of rupees, this poses a significant financial burden, with fees ranging from Rs 40,000 to Rs 90,000.


Faced with such circumstances, the only viable option for these students is to seek admission in state schools. However, the challenge lies in the fact that these schools are affiliated with the state education board, potentially disrupting the children’s academic progress at a crucial stage of their educational journey.


Concerned citizens and education experts are calling on the state government to find a middle ground in order to secure a brighter future for these students. Mukund Kirdat, coordinator of the AAP Parents Union, emphasized the need for immediate action, stating, “According to the new National Education Policy (NEP), there is a provision for providing free education from pre-primary to Class X. However, the government has failed to implement it. The order to provide free education up to Class X has not yet been issued. The education minister has not even taken notice of this issue. An order must be issued without delay to ensure free education up to Class X in the same school. Otherwise, more than 80,000 students are at risk of being deprived of education.”


When approached for comments, Sharad Gosavi, director of State Primary Education, mentioned that they have received multiple letters of request from parents and organizations. These letters have been forwarded for further consideration to the secretary of the Ministry of Education and the government of Maharashtra.


Gosavi acknowledged that this matter requires policy decisions and refrained from providing further comments at this time.