The Right to Education Act may have been framed to include students from the economically weaker sections and the disadvantaged groups but some schools in the city are interpreting the act to exclude them.
A number of schools across the city are not accepting forms from those EWS students who live more than 1km away from the school.
Using the Supreme Court order that allowed schools to give extra points to children living closer to the school, the authorities are excluding more students than they include.
Parents have been running from pillar to post trying to get the forms from the schools but in vain.
“We decided to take the form from the directorate of education's website but the guards don't let us enter the school to submit the form, asking us for residence proofs since we don’t live within a kilometre of the schools,” said a parent who works as a security guard and lives in Mayur Vihar.
“Resettlement colonies like Trilokpuri are not close to many good private schools. The government should make sure that all children get equal opportunity. What is the problem in letting students, who live a couple of kilometres away, apply?” said Thomas Antony, member JOSH, an organisation that works in the field of education.
“There is one school in Vasundhra that is issuing forms to Block 8, Trilokpuri, but turned back a parent from Block 7 even though both areas are adjacent. What criteria are there schools following?” he asked.
The Delhi government, however, says that schools cannot exclude students in this manner.
“The Supreme Court order only said that preference can be given to students that live closed to the school. If the school gets enough applications for students within 1km, they can give them the preference but they cannot ask the parents to not apply at all. That is illegal,” said Amit Singla, director, Education.
It is because of these problems that the Delhi government uploaded the form on its own website so that everyone can download them.