Banoo Joshi, mother of a three-year-old boy, had applied to 12 schools in south Delhi for her son’s admission, but could not even make it to one of them. “We are educated and my husband is well placed in the hospitality industry; never did we imagine that nursery admission would be so difficult,” she said.
Her driver, Suresh Kumar (name changed), on the other hand who had applied through the economically weaker sections is spoilt for choice — he has made it to five schools for his son. “I wonder who is more underprivileged. I am not against reservation for EWS but one cannot deny the fact the seats have shrunk. On top of those categories like alumni, sibling and transfer cases made it more difficult for us, since we belong to none of them,” said she.
On Wednesday, around 50 such parents of children belonging to general category who couldn’t make it to any of the schools this year gathered in front of the Directorate of Education’s office. They met the director of education, P Krishnamurthy, to register their complaint against the ‘discriminatory’ point system followed by schools.
With an aim to make good quality education accessible to all, the Right to Education Act which came into effect from this year, made 25% reservation for EWS category children mandatory in private schools.
As in the case of Joshi, the effect of reservation is already being felt. “The whole idea is to make our society egalitarian. Once a child from the EWS category is educated, it will have a spiralling effect on his community and society at large. The reservation is a contrary to the gap that exits in society.
It can actually change the face of our country in the next 20 years,” said Ameeta M Wattal, principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road.
Krishnamurthy said, “We will examine the complaints regarding categories. We agree that the EWS reservation has shrunk the number of seats in the school. We have asked the schools to transfer any vacant seat under alumni, sibling or transfer categories to the open category.”