As the division of opinion over the economically weaker section (EWS) reservation in local minority schools continues between the UT and National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), the minority body has called the Chandigarh director school education (DSE) to Delhi on March 22 after receiving complaints from two schools.
In two separate letters addressed to the UT administrative official, the minority commission had cited a ‘clear violation of norms set by the minority commission, addressing the issues raised by St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, and New Public School, Sector 18.
DSE Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “I have not read the complete letter. We will address the issue.”
In case of St Kabir Public School, the school authorities had raised an issue in February, post the regional conference of the NCMEI was held on February 26, about how the UT education department and estate office were repetitively issuing instructions to the said school to ‘reserve seats’. The school, which had applied for the minority status in 2012, and got the certificate in hand from the national minority commission, in 2014, maintained its stand that since the Right to Education (RTE) did not apply to minority institutes, they were not liable to reserve any seats be it economically weaker section or any other category, as was being instructed by the UT under the Lad Allotment Scheme.
Confirming the latest development, Gurpreet Bakshi, administrator, St Kabir Public School, said, “As the affected party in this case, we have received a letter from the commission in this regard. We will be heading to Delhi to see what comes out of it, so that this doesn’t keep coming up again and again.”
In the case of New Public School, school principal RD Singh, who was concerned over the lack of reimbursement by the UT education department over the reservation of EWS seats, had written to the then director public instructions (DPI) in May 2015. Replying to which, the then DPI, Kamlesh Kumar, asked the principal as to under which clause was it cited that the school should be reimbursed for reserving EWS seats.
This was when Singh decided to take up the matter with senior authorities. He finally submitted a representation with members of the NCMEI on February 26 during their visit to Chandigarh. Reacting to the same, the minority commission had written to the current director school education, again, citing, ‘violation of the minority rights’ and to address and resolve the issue ‘amicably’ on March 22 in Delhi.
Confirming that he had submitted the representation in this matter, RD Singh said he had also been called by the commission.
Sources said he was perturbed by the repetitive letters being issued by the education department to submit estimate of reimbursement amount this year, as he had already submitted the data year after year, but failed to receive any reimbursement from government.
The school had not been reimbursed for students it had enrolled under the EWS quota even prior to that. Meanwhile, Singh also said the school still continued to enroll EWS children, especially kids of the school’s Class-4 employees, but had not been reimbursed for that either.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that since the DSE had some meeting scheduled in UT on March 22, he was planning to send in a written reply to the minority body or request the members to set another date.
NCMEI secretary Rita Chatterjee said, “We have called the DSE to hold a discussion and resolve their issues.”
“There are a lot of issues cropping up in UT over minority schools, and we fear that in the nxt five years, kids from the EWS won’t know which schools to apply to with more and more schools here applying for minority status,” she said.