The UT administration has decided to discontinue the practice of issuing Economically Weaker Section (EWS) certificates for enrolment of children in private schools under the 25% quota for these students from the next academic session.
Schools will admit EWS students on the basis of self-attested documents from candidates. The decision comes after reports emerged that fake certificates were being submitted to avail the benefit of the quota.
“We have been receiving multiple complaints of fake EWS certificates being issued by patwaris on forged documents. For a long time, the government had been wanting to implement the self-attestation process so that schools at their own end can verify the details,” deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi told HT on Thursday.
When questioned on a mechanism to check submission of fake details to the school, the DC said, “The school concerned is free to approach the DC office and we will look into it and provide all possible assistance to verify details.” He added, “Most people have their BPL card. If a problem arises, we will help.”
The new self-attestation process will be applicable during renewal process as well. When a child seeks admission in a school, he or she falls in the EWS category due to his parents’ salary. However, due to increase in the parents’ salary, the said child might or might not necessarily fit the bill of an EWS candidate the following year before he/she is to promoted to the next class. In such cases, schools will have to verify the same unlike earlier where the EWS certificate once issued was considered a stamp.
St John’s High School principal Kavita C Das said, “At our school, we make it a point to visit the home of the families not merely to verify, but also to form a relationship with the EWS children and their families.”
She added that a formal decision by the DC office on self-attestation reiterated the spirit behind enrolling deserving students from the EWS category.
Tender Heart School principal Vikrant Suri said, “It is a positive development as earlier the applicants attempt to hoodwink the schools on their economics status based on certificate issued by the authorities.” He added that now schools will have the discretion to independently verify the income of the applicants.
Meanwhile, the assistant estate officer has sought explanation from seven other schools for flouting EWS quota rules and not cooperating with the area SDMs during inspection.