On paper, the Right to Education Act assures every child the right to go to school and the Delhi government’s nursery admission guidelines have even made special provisions for the economically weaker sections (EWS). But in reality, some Delhi schools seem hell bent on discriminating against such deprived people.
Forms for the EWS category are available on the Delhi education department’s website at the click of a mouse, but schools across the city are asking parents to submit four documents just to issue a single form.
“Three south Delhi schools asked me to bring a voter ID, an income certificate, my child’s birth certificate and my ration card just to issue a form. In another south Delhi school, I was not even allowed to enter the premises. The guard told me no seats were available in their school under the EWS category,” said Rehana Malik, a resident of Abul Fazal Enclave, Okhla.
She did not reveal the names of the schools for fear of being blacklisted by them.
Revamping the nursery application system for students belonging to the EWS category this year, the government had announced that one central admission form would be made available on the department’s website and in all schools.
But the reform seems to have been ignored by schools allegedly harassing parents for documentation just to collect a form.
While the directorate’s online grievance recording system was out of order on Tuesday, 27 complaints were recorded on it by Wednesday evening. Out of these 27, six were pertaining to the refusal to give EWS forms and the demand for unnecessary documents.
The actual number of parents who have faced this problem is expected to be much higher as only a small number of parents from the EWS category have easy access to the internet.
Arvinder Singh, education minister, however, said parents need not approach schools for forms. “Those who cannot download forms can get them from the offices of the deputy director of education of their zone. The complaints, meanwhile, will be looked at and necessary action will be taken against all schools,” he said.