The ongoing tussle between UT education officials and private schools over admitting students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) of society in private unaided schools under the RTE Act took a fresh turn on Thursday when Independent Schools Association president HS Mamik claimed that all the seats reserved for disadvantaged students had been converted into general category.
The UT education department had on Wednesday issued a letter to private schools asking them not to convert the seats without prior approval of the authorities. Instructions had also been given to furnish the data regarding the number of admissions made so far by April 12.
"The department had given us time till April 10, after which we were allowed to convert the seats into general category," said Mamik.
He said, "We have not received any information from the department and even if any notice had been issued in this regard, nothing could be done as the seats have already been converted."
Meanwhile, a delegation of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) led by Sunny Mehta met UT advisor KK Sharma and education secretary VK Singh, and asked them to implement the latest judgment of the high court which says that admissions shall be offered to eligible EWS students residing within 1 km of the specific schools first, and in case vacancies remain unfilled, students residing within 3 km and thereafter 6 km be admitted.
The delegation also demanded that fresh applications be invited for filling the seats.
Mehta said that accepting their demand, administration had ordered all private schools not to convert any vacant EWS seats for three weeks.
Real issue: Under the RTE Act, private schools have to reserve 25% seats for students belonging to the economically weaker sections of society; however, according to a notice issued by UT administration in 2005, schools must reserve 15% seats under the same quota.
Discrepancy: The UT education department has failed to clear the dues of private schools for the past couple of years. Both the parties have failed to come to a consensus on the reimbursement of the expenses incurred on such students.