Quota for poor students does not apply to us, say minority schools in Chandigarh
Most schools have claimed that their land allotment letters do not have any clause of reservation for admission under EWS category, thus cannot fill up any seat under 15% land allotment scheme.punjab Updated: May 20, 2017 19:18 IST
Principals of about 11 city minority schools have written to the Chandigarh education department, claiming that they cannot fill up seats under the 15% EWS quota, since land allotment scheme does not apply to their schools.
Meanwhile, six other minority schools have not yet given any reason for not being able to reserve 15% seats for children belonging to economically weaker sections.
However, out of total 22 minority schools, only five have held draw of lots to fill up these seats under the land allotment scheme, which is otherwise applicable for all schools across Chandigarh.
Most schools have claimed that their land allotment letters do not have any clause of reservation for admission under EWS category, thus cannot fill up any seat under 15% land allotment scheme.
St John’s School, Sector 26 stated, “The reservation of 15% seats belonging to EWS students was introduced in 1996 and therefore cannot be retrospectively applied to the school, which was allotted the land years before that in1967 on freehold basis. Similar are the replies from the two other missionary schools including Carmel Convent and Sacred Heart.
However, going by the data collected from the office of the deputy commissoner (DC), 81 schools in the city had got lands from the UT administration at different rates. The data shows that St John’s School, Sector 26, had got 20 acres of land at Rs 3,000 per acre. New Public School, Sector 18 had got the land at Rs 10 per sq yard, St Kabir School, Sector 26 at Rs 60 per sq yard, Vivek High School at Rs 60 per sq yard, while the Saupin’s School, St Joseph and Mount Carmel school had got lands at Rs 1,800 per sq yard each.
The issue of giving 15% reservation to EWS students has been a disputed issue since long as the minority schools have always claimed that the land allotment scheme does not apply on them.
In 2013, social activist Hemant Goswami had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the administration to direct the schools to reserve 15% seats.
In 2014, the estate officer, UT administration, had issued show cause notices to 19 private recognised schools for not having filled up the requisite number of students in entry level classes under the land allotment scheme. The director of school education had assured to prepare a list of more such defaulting schools but nothing happened after that.
The requirement to admit EWS students will reduce the profits of school managements.
From 5% to 15%
As per a copy of a notice issued by the estate office, Chandigarh administration, “The allotment of land to education institutions (schools) etc on lease hold basis in Chandigarh, introduced in the year 1996 was recommended in 2001, which stated that the educational institutes/societies/trusts shall be required to reserve 5% seats as may be determined by the UT administration from time to time.”
However, the UT administration later had taken a policy decision to revise the reservation from 5% to 15% in private schools for the EWS.