A Delhi Assembly committee has recommended to extend the benefits of free education to all students from Economically Weaker Sections studying in private schools up to Class 12, officials said.
The assembly’s Committee on Welfare of SC/STs urged the city government’s Education department to consider its recommendation and take necessary steps to extend the benefits.
The committee met on Saturday under the chairmanship of Karol Bagh MLA Vishesh Ravi. During the meeting, it was discussed that the Right to Education Act currently provides for free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six and 14 but the benefits are only provided up to eighth grade, it said in a statement.
“This has left many EWS (Economically Weaker Section)/DG (Disadvantaged Group) students in Delhi struggling to pay the fees beyond eighth grade and some are even at risk of dropping out…
“The Committee on Welfare of SC/STs has thus recommended that the Education department of Delhi extend the benefits of free education to all economically weaker section (EWS/DG) students studying in private schools up to 12th standard,” it said.
It also noted that some private schools that received land from government agencies already provide free education to children from Economically Weaker Sections/Disadvantaged Groups up to class 12th.
The committee asserted that it is essential to provide continuous access to education to all children, regardless of their socio-economic background. “Extending the benefits of free education to all EWS/DG students will ensure that they receive a complete education and have the opportunity to pursue higher studies and have better career prospects,” the committee said.
It also acknowledged that this may require additional resources and funding but held that the long-term benefits to society as a whole makes it a necessary investment.