In violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act guidelines, Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, conducted a written test to enroll students for Classes 4-7 on February 27, the result of which was declared on Saturday (March 5).
To verify this, HT correspondent posed as a parent and called at the school reception on Saturday to enquire about the procedure for admission to Class 4. The person on the other end said “the admission was closed as the written test for this had already been conducted”.
When contacted, school principal Saroj Savant said she was out of town. She did not revert to text messages to clarify the school’s position on the issue.
School director Shakuntala Mahajan said, “How else should a child be given admission if we do not test his/her basic knowledge? If 35 students have applied for admission, one needs to have a fair procedure to select them. Otherwise, it is unfair to the child also. It is high time that the issue of deterioration of education standards is addressed.”
A parent, Nirday Joshi (name changed), said, “My child had applied for admission to Class 7 and appeared for the written entrance test. It was only after the result was declared that I came to know that what the test has been disallowed under the RTE Act.”
Director school education Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “The education department would enquire into the matter. We will write to the Union ministry of human resources and development (MHRD) to seek a clarification on the issue. I think tests are also being conducted in other cities. We need to see how to deal with this,” said Brar.
In January, Bhavan Vidyala had withdrawn its admission test for Class 6 and refunded the fee of students who had enrolled for the same after HT highlighted the issue. An advertisement in this regard had appeared in a newspaper.
As per the MHRD guidelines issued in November 2010, the objective of the section 13 (1) of the RTE Act is to ensure that schools adopt a non-discriminatory, rational and transparent admission procedure and that schools do not subject children and their parents to admission tests or interviews.
The admission tests and interviews are tools for profiling and eliminating children and screening to assess a child’s intelligence should be prohibited, it states.
Whereas the Act is applicable for students from Classes1-8, other private schools have only exempted the entry level class from screening and have been holding written tests/interviews to admit children for other grades.
St Soldier Inter national School, Sect or28,SG GS Collegiate Public School, Sector 26 and RIMT World School, Manimajra, are some of the schools that hold written test for admission to Classes 1-8 as per the notices on their websites.
The RTE provision
As per Section 13 of the RTE Act, any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions, subjects a child to the screening procedure, it will attract a penalty, which may extend up to Rs 25,000 for the first contravention, and Rs 50,000 for the subsequent contravention.
MHRD guidelines violated
As per the MHRD guidelines issued in November 2010, the objective of the Section 13 (1) of the RTE Act is to ensure that schools adopt a non-discriminatory, rational and transparent admission procedure and that schools do not subject children and their parents to admission tests or interviews.