3 views 2 mins 0 Comment

Kerala High Court stays Kerala Education Rules’ recent amendments

- June 7, 2022

Ernakulam, June 7 (BPNS)

The Kerala High Court, on Monday, issued a stay on the recent amendment to Kerala Education Rules (KER), which were introduced in April, for a month. A petition alleging that the amendments made to the KER, amount to a violation of the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and also the various provisions of the Kerala Education Act, 1958 and the Kerala Education Rules, 1959, after which Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan has issued a stay.

The petition was filed by the General Secretary of the Private School (Aided) Managers Association, along with others. The additional advocate general has informed the court that if the mandates affect the right to education, then they will be rectified. The person has also asked for more time to file an affidavit on the matter. The court will hear the case on June 10.

The recent amendments have made it compulsory for creating additional posts or divisions in aided schools. The amendments also concerned students’ attendance, on which the government was hoping to reduce the number of teaching vacancies by artificially inflating admission numbers. The new amendments ask schools to suspend or expel students who do not attend classes for a long period. Also, the government put off the creation of an additional division until October.

The establishment of a new division implies the appointment of a new teacher, which in turn raises the government’s liability. However, the court noted that although the government’s intentions are justified, it seems they haven’t given much thought to the potential consequences of their amendments. It also stipulated action against school managers, principals, and class teachers if the number of students shown in records is less than the actual number.

The Right to Education Act (RTE) requires schools to take action to keep students to reduce the rate of school dropouts. The school management argued that removing students from the register is against this clause of the RTE. It is noteworthy that Kerala has the lowest dropout rate in the country.