The new education policy of the UT education department is virtually dampening the spirit of a few primary school students who want to study further.
As per the newly-framed policy of the department, students having a residential proof of Chandigarh are allowed admission in a city school. However, some children of Colony Number 5 of Dhanas - an area allotted to the slum dwellers by the UT - are being denied admissions by a senior secondary school of the nearby area.
Though the area falls in Chandigarh, these children are rendered without a school, as the officials want them to wait for around three months more, "till the construction of the two senior secondary schools being constructed in Colony Number 5 concludes".
Sumit Kumar, who lives in Colony Number 5 and was denied admission in Class 9 at Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, last year, said he had already wasted a year sitting at home, and this year, too, the authorities at the school were denying him admission.
"The principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, wants me to wait for two more months, as she says construction work of two more government schools in my area will complete within two months,"he said.
He added, "I requested her to enroll me in the school for now and once the construction of the schools in my area is complete, I can shift to the other school. Now, as my future seems uncertain, my father wants me to work along with him in the factory where he works as a labourer. But, I want to study at every cost,"said Sumit.
Kumar's father Raju Prasad said though he never wanted his son to work as a labourer, there was no other option left for him since, despite several attempts, his son could not get admission."
Harmeet Kaur, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, said, "In a recent meeting with the higher authorities, we have decided to enroll these students but later they will be shifted to the schools being constructed in their own area."
She added that the school authorities were trying their best to balance the enrollment process, as the quality of education should not suffer.
It is pertinent to mention that there are around 500 students in the primary school of Colony Number 5, and most of them are finding it difficult to get admission in the nearby secondary school.
"For us, it's very difficult to admit every student in our school,"says Kaur, adding most of the classes in the school were already overcrowded.
"The problem will be solved after the construction work at both of these schools is complete," said an official.