New Delhi: The central government should consider assisting poor students with gadgets and internet facilities to bridge the digital divide created in the background of online classes in government and aided schools, a Supreme Court bench said.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by unrecognized private schools challenging a previous order of the Delhi High Court directing private and government schools to provide facilities to poor students for online classes Was.
A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna observed that children are at risk of dropping out of school, while also asking the Delhi government to formulate a plan for effective implementation of the RTE Act.
“Article 21A of the Constitution has to become a reality and if so, adequate access to online education of children from disadvantaged sections cannot be denied,” the bench said.
It would be a disparity if a section of students finds it unable to do homework, which is assigned and submitted through online these days, it said. “We must applaud the decision of the Delhi High Court. It is heartbreaking to even think about the disparity among children. Where will a poor family get a laptop or tablet for their children’s online studies?” Justice Chandrachud said.
Justice Nagrathana said, “The state has to make a plan and raise funds. It is the responsibility of the government to take care of these children.”
“Therefore, we direct that it will be necessary for the Government of NCT of Delhi to come out with a plan which will be placed before the court and will give effect to the main object of the RTE Act,” the bench said in its order.
The bench also asked the management of unaided recognized schools to follow the same.