EWS parents denied nursery forms on flimsy grounds
Umesh Kumar has been running from pillar to post for the past one week to get a form for the admission of his child to nursery class.delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2012 01:25 IST
Umesh Kumar has been running from pillar to post for the past one week to get a form for the admission of his child to nursery class.
Kumar, who belongs to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), was refused application forms from various private schools on flimsy grounds. “Some schools wanted me to produce a domicile certificate to provide me with a form. Are they asking the richer, more educated parents for these certificates? Why are we being discriminated against?” he said.
The Right to Education Act 2009 envisages that 25% of the total seats in schools must be reserved for children belonging to the EWS category.
This year, the Delhi government brought out a common admission form for children belonging to the EWS category. It directed all schools to distribute the forms to those belonging to this section, but most have failed to abide by the government's directive and have allegedly turned away parents from the gates. The government has also made the form available on its website — edudel.nic.in. All schools have to accept this common admission form and admission will be carried out through lottery.
No childs play
“I have been going to schools in the neighbourhood for the past three days, but all have told me that they don't have any such form and I should go to the Directorate of Education (DoE) to get them. Why should I go so far when the schools are mandated to provide us with the form?” said Sangeeta, who is seeking admission for her son.
While getting a form has turned out to be a major hassle, various NGOs have started distributing the document to parents belonging to EWS category and the disadvantaged group.
“Getting these forms submitted is an even bigger problem. While there are multiple agencies that can distribute forms, only schools can accept them. This is where the schools are using their discretion, which they are not permitted to do,” said Thomas Antony, member of JOSH, an organisation that works in the field of education.
Asking for unnecessary documents, which are difficult to get at the last moment, is the most common way in which schools are harassing parents.
“I have a BPL ration card that was made two years ago, but schools are not ready to accept it as a proof that my annual income is less than R1 lakh. It's a government document. How can they refuse admission on this basis?” said Geeta, an accredited social health activist.
All complaints have surfaced despite the EWS form clearly mentioning the documents required for the admission of a child in nursery.