The Delhi high court has allowed parents of students studying in the overcrowded Government Girls/Boys Senior Secondary School in Sonia Vihar -- where the children for forced to sit on the floor in packed corridors due to lack of space -- to seek admission in any other school of their choice in the area.
Hindustan Times had on July 17 reported about the problems faced by students and teachers alike in the school in north-east Delhi .
Five parents had moved the high court as other nearby government schools had refused them admission citing ‘a 3-km rule’ of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, and asked them to go to Sonia Vihar instead.
The act says the children can seek admission in a school within a 3-km area but doesn’t give other schools out of the radius the right to turn them away. The schools that denied admission are out of the 3-km radius.
“Schools were using this rule to refuse admission and asked them to study in the overcrowded school. Now the government told the court they will not force anyone to take admission in Sonia Vihar,” said Khagesh Jha, advocate and member of Social Jurist who fought the case for the parents.
The court said the children can seek admission in schools either in Timarpur or Roop Nagar with 10 days.
Due to overcrowding, students are forced to study in the corridors and take turns to sit on desks and chairs. With just 32 rooms, the Sonia Vihar school has 5,000 girls in the morning and 3,800 boys in the evening shifts.
“We knew our children will not be able to study in that school as there is no adequate number of teachers and classrooms. When we approached other schools, we were told we have to study in the Sonia Vihar school as per a government order. As it was about the future of our children, we had to move court,” said Anmol Chaudhary, a parent who wanted to get his daughter admitted in class 9.