The Capital's orphans are going to get a chance at education and subsequently a better life with the Delhi government notifying that such children will have an equal right as per Right to Education (RTE) Act guidelines.
An orphan as defined by the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Rules is a child who is without parents or willing and capable legal or natural guardian. Such a child will have to be given admission under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category, the government notice said.
"Starting this academic session, orphans will now be considered for admission in all schools under the EWS category. This is an attempt at giving them as much of a chance at gaining formal education as any other child. All schools will, therefore, be required to consider applications of orphan children as well," said Amit Singla, director of education, Delhi government.
While the child will need a certificate from the Women and Child Development department to be eligible for admission, schools maintained that no separate provision would be made for these children.
"Orphans will not be considered separately but will be included in the 25% EWS category itself. This is because the child will either come through an orphanage or the Delhi government. So children from all disadvantaged groups will fall under the EWS category," said Ameeta Wattal, vice chairperson, vice chairperson, National Progressive Schools Conference.
Yet, this directive may not necessarily spell good news for children belonging to this category. Thanks to the lottery system followed by schools, the odds against and those in favour of an orphan child being selected for nursery admission are equal.
"Our task is to provide a chance to underprivileged children and ensure that they are provided quality education. These children will also be subject to the lottery system under the EWS category so that the chance of an orphan is as much or as little as any other child under the category," Wattal added.