With nursery admissions in progress, Chandigarh Independent School Association (ISA) members sent out a letter to the education department listing their concerns regarding anomalies of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, but didn’t receive any response them.
ISA members, including principals of various local private schools, had sent out a letter on December 11 raising important issues about nursery admissions.
ISA vice-president APS Sidhu said, “This isn’t the first time we have asked them to address our concerns. We have repeatedly sent out letters over the past three years but the department officials have failed to respond.”
The letter states various judgements and schemes and how 15% quota under economically weaker section (EWS), according to them, wasn’t applicable to local private unaided schools.
It cites the latest amendment of the ‘scheme 96’ of July 29, 2005.
“This amendment says very clearly that hence forth this scheme (scheme of 96) shall be applicable to only those school sites that are ‘allotted’ through auction.
That is to say that the reservation of 15% or 5% EWS quota shall not be applicable to any private unaided schools except those allotted land through auction,” states the letter.
It further quotes that in the matter of Independent School Association vs Chandigarh administration and others, the Punjab and Haryana high court held that schools were to implement the Right to Education Act and that the “issue with regard to allotments of land at concessional rate is left open”.
The letter also states under the ‘scheme of 96’ EWS reservation of 15% or 5% is not free and how the issue of “concessional rate” of land allotment hasn’t been settled by law, and is in ISA’s opinion, bogus.
Administrator St Kabir Public School Gurpreet Bakshi, also a member of the body, said, “I feel officials need to be more accurate about what the RTE entails, before issuing showcause notices to schools.”
DPI (schools) Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “We are examining the matter.”
Deputy director higher education Chanchal Singh said interests of children was foremost. “The department will keep the interest of the children in mind before taking any step. The welfare of schoolchildren is what matters the most.”