Private schools in Delhi snub quota for disadvantaged groups

NEW DELHI: When Firoz Ahmed Malik received a message that his 6-year-old son has been given admission under the Economically Weaker Section/Disadvantaged Group (EWS/DG) category in a private school, his happiness knew no bounds. However, his ordeal began when he was told to cough up Rs 20,000 for the admission at Anu Public School, Seelampur on March 21. “When I went to the school on March 21 and confronted that March 31st is the last day of admission (later revised to April 16), as mentioned in the message, the person there asked for Rs 20,000 to admit my son,”  says Malik, a physically challenged e-rickshaw driver.

Responding to Malik’s argument that as per the Delhi Directorate of Education (DelE) guidelines, his son — falling under the OBC category — was eligible for admission without any fee, the school management asked him to submit his income certificate. “When I argued that the income certificate was not necessary for admissions, the school management said they would first consider a child from general category for admission and then my son’s turn would come. They also said that I’d have to spend money on his books and uniforms — in violation on the DelE guidelines,” says Malik, who makes a meagre Rs 8,000 per month driving the rickshaw.

A distraught Malik, later raised a complaint with an NGO working towards education equality — Mission Taaleem.  At Mission Taaleem, Malik’s is not the only case involving complete violation of the guidelines directed by DelE under the disadvantaged group category. They are currently dealing with at least 24 cases in which the schools have either denied admission or have asked parents incur the cost of books and uniforms. Savita, the mother of a Class II student at the Anglo Indian Public School, Mayur Vihar, claims she has been sending her child to school with only notebooks and no textbooks as she has not been able to afford them.

“Last year, at the time of verification of the documents, the school made it clear that we have to pay for books and uniform. It had cost me around Rs 6,000. This year, I am hoping that they will provide my child with books and uniforms sooner,” she said.However, a curricular staff at the Anglo Indian Public School claims: “The school is not selling out any books this year. We have told parents of EWS/DG category students that whenever the funds for their education reach us, we’ll handover it to them to buy books.”

The DoE circular strictly instructs private unaided recognised schools in the city to provide free books and uniforms to the EWS/DG category students.

On the complaints received, Ekramul Haque, from Mission Taaleem says, “After the successful EWS draw, any refusal of admission, if needed, be done by the school principal in writing. Otherwise, the parents will be misguided by any school staff handling the admission procedure.”When contacted, the principal of Anu Public School denied having asked for Rs 20,000 and said: “The proportion of students is one EWS/DG category student with three general category students at our school. I can admit a EWS/DG category student only when we get students from general category. That’s how it works.”

Source By : The Indian Express