Supreme Court hears a plea by Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools with regard to access to technology by children who are attending online classes and funding needed for the same
Sr Adv Shyam Divan: this is not just about EWS students but about all. its a global problem, Under RTI Act there is no 100% compensation given to schools. burden gets transferred to fee paying students
Justice Chandrachud: we see our staff members who have children studied from one mobile phone. How many families can afford laptops? this is an important issue
Justice BV Nagarathna: similar plea was there in karnataka high court .. we had said state has to come out with a scheme.. state has to come forward and finance this else children will drop out from school. In pandemic situation this has to be taken seriously
DYC J: What is Delhi govt doing? Mr Divan is saying that burden is falling on private schools and just because parents are not EWS does not mean they can pay the fees
DYC J: The government can tap into the CSR funds of the corporates for this

DYC J: Schools are opening up for the older children and for the little children there may be a little more time to open schools till they are vaccinated. It may take some time.
DYC J: I have seen this at personal quarters, its heart wrenching, we are merging ews with mainstream and on the other hand there is such disparity, the mother who is a maid and the father is a driver where will they get the laptop from? you have to upload homework in the laptop
Justice Nagarathna: look at the tribal and rural areas.. there is a large drop out of children from the schools.
#SupremeCourt is hearing an appeal against Delhi High Court order which directed private unaided schools and government Schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas to supply gadgets and internet package to students from EWS category to facilitate online learning
SC: Division bench of HC of Delhi by its Sept 18 judgment which is impugned in the SLP has dealt with the matter of crucial importance for the future of young children particularly children belonging to the EWS and disadvantaged group.
SC: private unaided and govt schools. The issue before Delhi HC is the need to ensure that 25% of EWS and DG students should have necessary werewithal to ensure that they are on equal platform during pandemic when schools all over were pursuing online media
SC: Delhi HC has directed that when court has selected one on one and real time education as its mode, the private unaided and govt schools must under RTE Act 2009 supply the gadgets and equipment and internet package
SC: The cost of such gadgets, equipment and internet package has been directed to provide free of cost to ews and dg students subject to being reimbursed by state. this judgment was challenged by Delhi government
SC: The judgment was also challenged by an SLP by UOI. Notice was issued by a bench presided by CJI and the HC order was stayed on Feb 10, 2021. The present SLP is by the action committee of unaided recognised private schools
SC: Since two slps are pending, notice is issued and tagged. the issues in the plea need early resolution even though there will be gradual reopening of schools as pandemic recedes.
SC: However the need to provide adequate computer-based equipment together with access to online learning by EWS/DG children is of utmost importance.
SC: The digital divide produced stark consequences as schools adopted to digital medium during the pandemic. the ews and dg children may have to suffer consequences by not pursuing education or worse case drop out by not accessing internet
SC: This SLP is here with a plea that the Delhi hc while directing them to bear the cost of internet and equipment left it open to reimburse it from state and state says it does not have resources.
SC: in this situation needs of young children who are future of country cannot be ignored. In this case situation has to be carved out at centre and state level so that access to resources is not denied to ews and dg.
SC: else the idea of RTE act to merge ews with mainstream students stands defeated. article 21A has to become a reality and for that access to online education to ews/dg cannot be denied.
SC: it is necessary for Delhi govt to come with a plan to uphold the salutory objective of RTE act. centre to also coordinate with state govt and share concurrent responsibilities for the purposes of funding,
SC: we expect both centre and states to take the matter in close coordination on immediate basis for realistic and long term solution.
SC: The registry may seek CJI's permission so that all the SLPs can be listed at an early date before an appropriate bench so that a workable solution can be carved out for providing education to younger citizens of India.

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