Parent cries foul as St Stephen’s refuses to accept form on last day | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Parent cries foul as St Stephen’s refuses to accept form on last day

punjab Updated: Dec 19, 2015 14:27 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times
St Stephen’s School

After being denied the submission of their child’s form, a couple complaining to cops at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Friday.(Karun Sharma/HT)

Parents whose children are seeking admission to the pre-primary and primary classes were a nervous lot while completing the formalities on the last day of submission of forms as per the common admission schedule on Friday. A few parents also complained of being harassed by some school managements, claiming that there was ambiguity in the rules set by the schools and uploaded on their website.

A resident of Mauli Jagran, who was seeking admission for his second child under the economically weaker section (EWS) category at St Stephen’s School, was seen lamenting outside the school after his form was not accepted. Vinod Saina, who repairs air conditioners for a living, said: “I was told by headmaster Jacob that the school is as it is doing enough by admitting one child from our family, and hence couldn’t take the second one under the EWS category.” Saina said his father is a cancer patient and the family is struggling to make both ends meet.

When HT asked the headmaster about the allegation, he at first claimed that only one child was allowed admission under the category “so that everyone else stood an equal chance”, but later said that there were no such restriction on the number of siblings. Later, in the evening, he said that admissions were given to those residing within a radius of 3 km from the school.

Throwing light on the relevant rules, deputy director, higher education, Chanchal Singh, said: “A school cannot refuse to accept a form, even if preference is to be given to those from the neighbourhood. Whether the child gets admission or not is secondary, but forms must be accepted in such a situation.”Director, public instructions (schools), Rubinderjit Brar also confirmed that there was no such rule that allowed admission to only one sibling in an EWS family.

Couple calls in police at Carmel Convent

A high drama was also witnessed at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, when around 4pm a parent, Neha Mukhija, who along with her husband had gone to submit her child’s admission form, alleged that they were harassed by the school principal.

She said the form was not accepted and the principal abused her husband and her. When HT team reached the spot to verify the same, it was noted that the parents had mistakenly followed last year’s instructions, according to which the forms could be submitted between 3pm and 4pm, while as per the school’s website, the timings this year are from 9am to 10am. However, the parents had already contacted the police.

Even on realising their mistake, the couple maintained that the principal had been abusive. Principal Maria Swati said the parents stormed into her office without permission. “I do not have time to entertain parents who try to impose themselves on others, without knowing the rules. I merely asked them to leave,” she said. Station house officer Neeraj Sarna said that he would look into the allegations, once a written complaint was submitted to him.