The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended that minority schools should be included under the Right to Education Act. The Commission is concerned with the quality of education being provided in Madarsas, they believe the children studying in them are “as good as out-of-school” kids.
NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo told The New Indian Express, “The irony is that while missionary schools follow fundamental syllabi like normal schools and have become elitist, Madaras are just imparting religious education and are meant for marginalised and deprived sections—but they both enjoy some exemptions from RTE provisions.”
The RTE is perceived to be sectarian by many sections of the Hindu community who believe the Act severely handicaps their ability to compete effectively with missionary schools in the education sector. Thousands of schools have been forced to shut down due to the RTE, an all of them run the majority community, as minorities are exempted from the RTE Act.
Last year, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had said, “RTE Act is applicable to majority-run institutes and not minority institutes. As a result, it has become difficult for non-minority institutes to operate. Minority institutes get money and increase their income. Laws and rules are strange and they should be changed.”
Earlier in January, the NCPCR had recommended the mapping of minority schools due to the lack of data about the number of students studying in Madarsas and missionary school.