Many private schools in the city that were allotted subsidised government land have violated High Court's order to reserve 10 per cent seats for students from economically weaker sections (EWS), the Department of Education (DoE) has said in its latest status report submitted in the Delhi High Court.
The court had drawn up a list of 32 schools from across the city against whom complaints were received. The schools are supposed to reserve 10 per cent seats for poor students and 5 per cent for children of school staff.
The list of erring schools include many from east Delhi like Vivekananda Public School, Anand Vihar; Salwan Public School, Mayur Vihar Phase III, and Greenway Modern Public School, Dilshad Garden, along with some from south Delhi like New Green Field School, Alaknanda, and DPS Vasant Kunj.
Ashok Agarwal, who is representing the case for NGO Social Jurists, said, “Many schools did not admit a single child under the 5 per cent staff quota. Possibly no such ward was present. In that case, the 5 per cent needs to be added to the 10 per cent quota for the EWS.” For instance, he said, for Tagore International School, East of Kailash, the department's comment was: “Seats under staff quota (5 per cent ie 6 seats) have neither been filled up nor transferred to EWS quota.”
Defended school principal Suman Nath, “We are still recruiting teachers and we decided till the process is complete, we would not admit students lest any staff child is left behind. However, we have filled in four more seats and only two seats remain.”
Besides, the status report mentioned that Ryan International School, Mayur Vihar Phase III, has admitted 25 students (10 per cent for EWS and 5 per cent for staff). It said: “It appears that the school has not given correct interpretation to freeship quota, as 10 per cent for EWS and 5 per cent for staff. The total number of seats at entry level are 210, hence 32 seats should have been reserved.”
Despite repeated attempts, school principal Sandhya Saboo could not be contacted till the filing of this report.
Observing that Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj, has admitted only one student as on April 5 against the quota of 27 seats, the DoE commented: “A large number of seats are available under freeship quota yet only five forms were distributed.”
Principal Vinay Kumar said, “We did not receive many applications. Of the only four applications, one was admitted. Two did not fulfill criterion (of domicile and income) and one turned out to be fake.”
Statistics also shows that the department has received maximum complaints from east Delhi. One obvious reason is there are more people in the EWS category residing in east Delhi. The other possible reason is even though a school is offering seat under quota, not many parents want their wards rubbing shoulders with the children of rich and powerful.