Schools run by minority communities that were issued show-cause notices by the Maharashtra government denied the claims that they had not admitted even a single student from their respective groups in the past three years.
Instead, they claimed that government officials had not visited their premises to conduct any survey.
State minorities minister Eknath Khadse on Thursday said they sent notice to 10 south Mumbai schools, threatening to strip them off their minority status as they had not admitted any student of that minority.
Two schools objected to being placed in the category. “Of the 3,500 students in our school, 250 are from the minority community,” said Carl Laurie, principal, Christ Church School, Byculla, which is a Christian religious and English linguistic minority. “We might not have 51% minority students, but we have never denied admission to any Christian student.”
Adding that the government should recheck the data on which the survey was based, Laurie said, “No one from the government come to our school. On what basis are they making these claims?”
Cathedral and John Connon School, Fort, said they, too, had Christian students.
Officials from the state education department said the schools were identified on the basis of a survey conducted in April by the education inspector’s office in the south zone. The survey was based on the information from the unified district information system for education (U-DISE) report.
Khadse said the schools need to conduct a separate admission process for minority students and those who did not follow the procedure have been counted as having zero minority students. “They [the schools] should have called for applications of minority students by first placing an ad in four newspapers and then conducted the process separately,” Khadse said.
Officials in the education department, however, said the discrepancy could have been a result of schools filling the U-DISE forms incorrectly.