Students falling under the Right to Education Act’s 25% quota for poor and socially disadvantaged students will not get a chance to study in the city’s top schools, a s a majority of them are minority unaided schools.
Minority unaided schools are exempted from the reservation. Schools such as Cathedral and John Connon School, Fort, Campion School, Colaba, Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane, and Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, are unaided minority schools and hence do not need to reserve seats. These were among the top ten schools in the city according to the Hindustan Times-C-fore Top Schools Survey 2011.
“It is true that underprivileged students will be deprived of education in some of the best schools in the city,” said Basanti Roy, an educationist. “We can only hope that these schools do their bit to help poorer students from their community and from their neighbourhood on their own accord,” she added.
Several minority-unaided schools have already adopted the practice. “We offer free education and scholarships to several underprivileged students, and also provide them with books and other academic material,” said Paul Machado, principal, Campion School, which is a religious and linguistic minority-run institute.