The last-minute refusal of admission to virtually hundreds of children belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) by private schools has left their parents writhing under anguish.
The admissions were supposed to be held on April 18 through draw of lots under Rule 134 A of the State Education Rules, 2003 (amended in 2013) in all the districts of the state.
While the Right to Education (RTE) Act is applicable only to Class 1 (25% seats) in Haryana, it is Rule 134 A of the Haryana School Education Rules that directs the private and aided schools to reserve 10% seats for EWS students for Classes 2 to 12. The draw of lots for these classes, which was scheduled to be held on April 18, was abruptly suspended by the government, without citing any reason.
The state government on Thursday claimed that the delay was because of confusion in admission criteria which had now been resolved and the admission process would be restored soon.
However, the parents seeking admission for their children in various districts of the state told HT that the schools were still denying admission to their wards.
Brij Pal, who runs a non-government organisation (NGO) in Bhiwani, said more than 5,000 children there were left in lurch and he would hold a protest against the state government and schools on Friday.
‘No clarity on merit condition’
A senior official of the state school education department said that the admission process had to be abruptly suspended even before beginning it, as there was no clarity on the condition of merit of the applicants. All the applicants belonging to poor families – below poverty line (BPL) and EWS – sought admission in private or government-aided schools under the Rule 134 A and their were no criteria to select them in the schools which had only limited seats.
“Now, the government has decided that all the BPL and EWS applicants would be given admission as per a merit list. It has also been decided to give appropriate amount to the private and aided schools admitting these children as per the rules,” a senior official said and added that an announcement in this context would be made soon.
‘No school got reimbursement’
Kulbhushan Sharma, president, Federation of Private Schools, Haryana, however, alleged that the state government was only confusing the issue as it had not given any reimbursement to any school, despite the fact that the private schools had been admitting poor children ever since the relevant rules came into effect. “Also, the state government has now been directed by the Punjab and Haryana high court too to pay us the reimbursement, yet it has not given us any reimbursement,” he added.