The Delhi High Court Friday directed private as well as government schools to provide gadgets and an internet package to poor students for online classes, saying the absence of such facilities prevent children from pursuing elementary education.
A bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula said private unaided schools "shall be entitled to claim reimbursement of reasonable cost for procurement of the equipment and internet package from the State under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, even though the State is not providing the same to its students".
The bench directed constitution of a three-member committee, comprising education secretary from the Centre or his nominee, Delhi government's education secretary or his nominee and a representative of the private schools, to expedite and streamline the process of identifying and supplying the gadgets to poor and disadvantaged students.
The court said the committee shall also frame standard operating procedures (SOPs) for identifying the standard of the equipment and internet package to be supplied to the poor and disadvantaged students. This would ensure uniformity in the gadgets and internet package being used by all the poor and disadvantaged students, the bench said.
The judgment came on a PIL by NGO Justice for All, represented by advocate Khagesh Jha, seeking directions to the Centre and the Delhi government to provide free laptops, tablets or mobile phones to poor kids so that they can access classes online during the COVID-19 lockdown.